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UPDATE | Washington State Patrol: Man overboard incident on ferry was suicide attempt

An inflatable rescue raft is hoisted back aboard the ferry M/V Wenatchee after the crew helped search for an overboard woman during the 1:10 p.m. Tuesday sailing to Bainbridge Island.  - Richard Malzahn photo
An inflatable rescue raft is hoisted back aboard the ferry M/V Wenatchee after the crew helped search for an overboard woman during the 1:10 p.m. Tuesday sailing to Bainbridge Island.
— image credit: Richard Malzahn photo

The Washington State Patrol said Friday that the woman who went overboard from the lower car deck of the ferry M/V Wenatchee during Tuesday's 1:10 p.m. sailing to Bainbridge Island was trying to kill herself.

The suicide attempt was witnessed by other passengers on the ferry, who said the still-unidentified woman jumped from the back end of the boat into the frigid waters of Puget Sound as the vessel approached Eagle Harbor.

Ferry service was halted to Bainbridge as the crew of the Wenatchee stopped en route and launched a small inflatable raft to search for the woman. The Coast Guard and other ferries assisted in the rescue effort, and the woman was later pulled from the water by a Coast Guard crew.

Following the rescue, the woman was turned over to emergency medical workers at Colman Dock in Seattle and taken to Harborview Medical Center for further evaluation and observation. At last report she was listed in good condition.

Sgt. Tina Martin of the WSP Homeland Security Division said the woman was approximately 50 years old.

According to the official report, the woman was conscious but "incoherent" after the rescue.

Both the State Patrol and Washington State Ferries also confirmed Friday that there was a car left on board the vessel that was identified as belonging to the woman who went overboard.

A suicide note was not found on either the woman's person or in her car.

"Nobody knows why she did it," Martin said. "Nobody was really around her."

Martin also said suicide attempts on the ferry are not as rare as some people believe.

"This happens a lot," she said. "It happens more than you'd think."

"We also get a lot of false reports of people going overboard," Martin added. "We ask that passengers look out for things like this because the sooner they report it the better the response can be."

Martin praised the quick response of the ferry crews and the Coast Guard, who were recorded to be commencing the search-and-rescue operation within three minutes of the initial report.

"That's an excellent response time," Martin said.

No further investigation into the incident is expected, she said.

 

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