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

Looks like no security staff present at:

Mukilteo or Clinton for inbound/outbound DUI driver. Two fatalities.

Gunfire on Bremerton ferry during Puget Sound crossing.

Security breach on the Bremerton ferry

FatalityGuemes ferry dock

Winslow ferry dock – Belligerent motorist blows past toll booth and onto ferry.

Credit to the press for asking questions on the Winslow incident. Excellent reporting here.

FatalitySouthworth ferry dock

FatalityAnacortes ferry dock


November 18, 2022 Whidbey News-Times

Lawsuit: Ferry staff could have prevented crash that killed 2 from Everett

“On Dec. 18, 2021, Cruz was driving her Ford Explorer toward the Mukilteo ferry terminal, according to court papers. Witnesses reported she drove erratically, as she stopped at a green light, swerved across lanes and drove over a curb.

Once she got a ferry ticket to Clinton, she rear-ended another car in her ferry lane, police reported.

State ferries employees saw the crash, but still ordered Cruz to get on the ferry to Whidbey Island despite her appearing “obviously impaired,” the lawsuit states.

Passengers behind Cruz reported the crash and Cruz’s impairment to ferry staff who called the command center on the island to see if a Washington State Patrol trooper could meet the vessel. But none were available. They made no effort to contact local police as an alternative, according to the complaint. A crewmember told the passengers to call 911.

When the ferry arrived in Clinton, everyone got off the ship, except Cruz. She had reportedly fallen asleep over her steering wheel.

Ferry staff tried to rouse her, but were unsuccessful. Finally, with the help of more employees, they were able to wake Cruz up. The lawsuit alleges the state Department of Transportation destroyed surveillance video showing this.

“At this point, WSF staff had already observed Cruz strike another vehicle in the ferry lineup, they had received passenger reports of Cruz’s intoxication, they called to request assistance from Washington State Patrol, they required the assistance of multiple crewmembers to wake her up from her unconscious state,” the lawsuit reads. “Despite being informed that Cruz was impaired, the Vessel’s crew directed Cruz to drive her vehicle off the ferry.”

Moments later, around 1 p.m., Cruz crossed over the center line on Highway 525 near Campbell Road, hitting the Mercedes occupied by Gamble, 77, and Weikle, 78. Gamble died at the scene. Almost two weeks later, Weikle died from his injuries. They were both from Everett.”

No security staff present at Mukilteo?

No security staff present at Clinton?

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?


Past Incidents

Gunfire on the Bremerton ferry:

WA voters approved enhanced background checks back in 2014:

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.”


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.


Security breach on the Bremerton Ferry

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:


Fatality – Guemes ferry dock

June, 2006-

Security nowhere to be found.


Winslow ferry dock

Belligerent motorist blows past toll booth and onto ferry:

Ferry incident exposes security weaknesses

Credit to the press for asking questions on this one. No need for this blog if the press handled each incident as they did here.


Fatality – Southworth ferry dock

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.


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.


Fatality – Anacortes ferry dock

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?


Puget Sound Ferry Ride

GWOT/security theater mixed messages:

Does a routine ferry ride require a gunboat escort?

Dec 22, 2014 Defense Visual Information Distribution Service

Coast Guard Station Seattle conducts ferry escort

Why, if there is a threat, would regular people not be able to purchase a more than 10 round magazine?

Love to see more in the way of newspeople asking questions.


More here:

Washington State Ferry Ride

Washington State Ferries Security

Jan, 2015-

No security personnel here, here, or here.

4 Stories The Puget Sound Press Will Not Question Or Report On





Photo- Keystone ferry inbound

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