The man who jumped off the ferry M/V Cathlamet had walked aboard the vessel in Mukilteo, a Washington State Ferries spokeswoman said Monday.
Susan Harris-Huether said the man was seen carrying a shoulder bag, but he left the bag on the ship before he jumped off the stern of the vessel at 10:08 p.m. Sunday. The Cathlamet was halfway between Clinton and Mukilteo on its way to Whidbey Island at the time of the incident, she said.
The crew of the vessel immediately contacted the Coast Guard after the man went overboard, Harris-Huether said, and ferry workers began looking in the water using the ship’s searchlights.
Ferry service on the Clinton-Mukilteo route was suspended for more than an hour as the Cathlamet helped searched for the missing man.
A 45-foot response boat from Coast Guard Station Seattle was brought in, and an MH-65C Dolphin helicopter from Air Station Port Angeles, to aid in the search.
The 10:30 and 11 p.m. sailings on the route were canceled, Harris-Huether said. The Coast Guard released the Cathlamet from the search at 11:30 p.m. after nothing was found, and three final sailings made the crossing overnight.
The investigation has been turned over to the Washington State Patrol. Harris-Huether said the man’s bag was given to investigators.
The identity of the missing traveler has not been released.
Harris-Huether said man-overboard incidents are not frequent, and WSF does not typically publicly recount the number of such cases.
“It’s not horrendously common, but it does happen,” she said.