I do not advocate for increased security on Washington State Ferries.

Simply trying to make sense of ongoing war on terror/security theater mixed messages. Love to see more in the way of newspeople asking questions.

Washington State ferry passengers are advised via PA system not to leave backpacks or packages unattended during ferry crossings.

Meanwhile-on the car deck-cars, trucks, vans, commercial vehicles, etc. are left unattended during ferry crossings.

I have made dozens of round trip ferry crossings over the past 20 years. In many cases, there has been no security screening at either terminal.

On occasion, the press will do a story about a ferry security drill.

If the Oklahoma City bomber rolls onto the ferry-how does the SWAT team help out an hour later?


WA voters approved enhanced background checks back in 2014.

November 4, 2014 Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Washington voters choose gun control; huge majority in Seattle area


Washington Universal Background Checks for Gun Purchases, Initiative 594 (2014)

“Furthermore, the initiative rendered it illegal to hand off a firearm to people outside a person’s immediate family, though exceptions were mentioned, including situations in which people are at a shooting range or hunting.”

Any reporting or updates on this?


Gunfire on the ferry:

January 27, 2020 Kitsap News Group

Man arrested after allegedly firing gun from ferry

“…WSP Vessel and Terminal Security Troopers responded to the MV Kaleetan upon its arrival at Colman Dock. By that time, WSF crews had already secured the suspect, who had boarded the vessel by vehicle.”

WSF Bremerton to Seattle crossing time: ~ 60 min

Not my idea to promote the concept that riding safely on the ferry requires gun boat escorts, SWAT teams and K-9s on the job to detect explosives.

If a guy decides to fire a gun during a 60 minute ferry crossing and WSP waits to respond until the ferry arrives at Colman Dock, how is this security?

Will newspeople follow up and let us know if the guy who purposefully fired his handgun from the ferry had a concealed carry permit?

Did he pass any sort of background check?

A 5th grade book report would require more in the way of asking questions.


August 21, 2019 Kitsap Sun

Man charged with security breach on ferry Walla Walla

“…jumped over a barrier on the ferry Walla Walla and tried to access the wheelhouse during a sailing Monday afternoon from Seattle.”

“A Washington State Patrol trooper called to the Bremerton ferry terminal at 2:06 p.m. wrote in reports that Miller appeared to be under the influence of a stimulant or was in mental crisis, according to court documents. The incident occurred on the 1:30 p.m. sailing.”

“Trooper Kevin Fortino, spokesman for the State Patrol’s Homeland Security Division, said troopers respond to calls on ferries and at terminals for impaired drivers, assaults and other incidents the same as they would to incidents occurring on highways.”

Same as on highways?

Well, not exactly. The Seattle to Bremerton crossing time is about an hour. Seems like response times to incidents on highways might be faster.

Instead of asking any questions, newspeople post a press release from agencies handling the situation.


This state-run media video shows US Coast Guard gun boats escorting the ferries. K-9 teams are on site to detect explosives:

June, 2006-

Security nowhere to be found.

Belligerent motorist blows past toll booth and onto ferry:

Ferry incident exposes security weaknesses

Oct, 2014-


Where were security personnel on the day this motorist blew past the ticket booth, ignoring personnel assigned to proper staging of vehicles:

Video: Man dies after SUV crashes through gate at Southworth ferry dock, sinks in Sound

Post-911 security protocols kept him safe:

Man dies after driving car off Southworth ferry dock


A state-run media report from June, 2012-

This video tells us that security personal are on site every day-at 2:56

Maybe security personnel are present at some specific terminal each day. Dozens of round trip crossings from various terminals indicate that in many cases-no security screening takes place prior to boarding ferries.



Where were security personnel when this fatality motor vehicle incident took place at the Anacortes ferry terminal?

Newspeople remain silent.

2018- Anacortes in the News: 1 dead after SUV plunges into water at Anacortes ferry dock

What is the point in having gunboats escorting ferries if terrorists are free to put their boat on a trailer and drive it onto the ferry?

What is the point in having gunboats escorting ferries if Joe Sixpack decides to take a gun and fire it into Puget Sound during a ~ 60 min crossing?

More here:

Washington State Ferry Ride

Washington State Ferries Security

Jan, 2015-

No security personnel here, here, or here.


I’d be more interested in paying (again) for a local paper subscription if there was more in the way of investigative reporting & newspeople asking questions.

Lack of News Reporting Hurts Newspaper Subscriptions?


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Photo- Keystone ferry inbound

Coupeville/Penn Cove is on the eastern shore of Whidbey Island-no ferry link to Port Townsend exists there.