Kayaker disrupts ferry at Clinton

A stubborn kayaker at the Clinton ferry dock caused almost two hours of delays in service Saturday, according to Washington State Ferries.

Around 2:30 p.m., a man in a kayak started making his way under the ferry dock, which is a violation of federal code, said Ian Sterling, a spokesman for state ferries. After dock workers told the man he couldn’t be there and the man refused to leave, the U.S. Coast Guard and the Homeland Security Division of Washington State Patrol were called to respond.

Sterling said the concern is both for the boater’s safety and to ensure the man didn’t have “nefarious intentions.”

The incoming vessel wasn’t able to dock because of the incident and had to return to Mukilteo. Because ferry workers didn’t know how long the delay would last, those on-board disembarked. Sterling said passengers were given the choice to either receive a refund or wait in line and get priority boarding when service resumed.

However, Whidbey Island residents who were on the boat that returned to Mukilteo, Sue Ellen White and Rod Parke, both said they were not given the priority boarding option. Parke said he asked three state ferries employees where he could go to wait and what they should do, and no one had any answers.

Washington State Patrol made contact with the kayaker and did a security sweep of the area, according to spokesman Kevin Fortino.

The Coast Guard is tasked with enforcement of a federal code violation, Fortino said.

However, the agency never made it to the scene, according to Amanda Norcross, Coast Guard spokeswoman. She said a small boat was launched from Seattle, but it was unable to get very close because of high tide.

Service on the run resumed at around 4:20 p.m., Sterling said.

He said personal boats should stay away from ferries because the smaller vessels can easily become swamped.

It’s a federal requirement to stay at least 25 yards away from a ferry that is moored and 100 yards away from a sailing vessel.

More in News

The city of Langley plans to replace well-loved playground equipment at Generation Park with a new structure that includes glide slides, spiral climber, horizontal loop ladder, spin cup, toddler swing and more. (Photo provided)
Generation Park slated for new playground equipment

Glide slides, spiral climber, loop ladder, spin cup and more swinging in soon

Dogs still get to run free by the sea in Langley

Seawall Park exempted from new leash law

Cooking up lessons in Langley’s Learning Labs

Youth, adults take classes in revamped home ec and shop classrooms

Geri Forbes’ four-year tenure marked by change, controversy and construction

Bottom line got healthier than took a turn for the worse

Port renames, rebrands Langley fair property to attract events

One of the oldest venues on South Whidbey has a new name… Continue reading

Port of South Whidbey commissioners Jack Ng, left, Curt Gordon and Ed Halloran review a list of grant application requests before announcing their decision at a meeting.
Port announces annual grants for tourism development

Eight organizations get piece of $30,000 pie

Port looking to fill commissioner vacancy

Port of Coupeville commissioners are deciding how to fill a to-be vacant… Continue reading

David Felice photo
                                Island County Emergency Management Director Eric Brooks talks about the importance of disaster readiness Saturday at St. Hubert’s Church in Langley. Several agencies presented an informal demonstration and discussion of how to be ready for emergencies.
Be prepared, emergency manager says

When Eric Brooks thinks about his work, he asks himself “How big… Continue reading

Langley calls for street dance artists

The Langley Main Street Association is accepting submissions from bands and artists… Continue reading

Most Read