UPDATE: Police take woman into custody on boat off Weather Watch Park


1:27 PM: Thanks to Chana for the photo and Brenda for the tip: In the area of Weather Watch Park (4100 block of Beach Drive SW) SPD and SFD crews on the water and onshore have been dealing with a person, believed to be in crisis, who turned up on a boat anchored offshore. We have a crew en route to find out more.

1:34 PM: From the shore, police can be seen talking with the person, who is atop a powerboat. (Thanks to Brenda for the photo below.)

FullSizeRender (28)

1:43 PM: We’ve confirmed that SPD Crisis Intervention Team members are involved. They tell us this has been going on for about an hour.

1:54 PM: SPD reports that they have a woman in custody. Police, fire, and Coast Guard boats all have been at the scene – here’s a photo our crew just sent back:


2 PM: The woman – who used a flare and an airhorn during the standoff, witnesses tell us – is being taken to shore; an ambulance will be waiting at Don Armeni.

(Added: WSB photo)

Police tell us she’ll then be taken to Harborview for a mental-health evaluation. Witnesses say she stole someone’s dinghy to get out to the powerboat.

4:46 PM UPDATE: A few more details have just been posted to SPD Blotter – mostly that the woman is 28 years old and stole the dinghy from a nearby beach; police aren’t aware of any connection between her and the owner of the 24-foot powerboat she boarded after rowing out to it.

24 Replies to "UPDATE: Police take woman into custody on boat off Weather Watch Park"

  • Mmmmarnie July 22, 2016 (1:36 pm)

    Fire and rescue showed up first and handed her a life jacket, she motioned wildly at them and threw the life vest into the water. 

  • TB July 22, 2016 (1:58 pm)

    Coast Guard also responded to scene and waiting to assist if necessary. 

  • Mindy Exum July 22, 2016 (2:13 pm)

    The boat in question is  moored directly in front of my home. Just want to say the rescue personnel (Fire Rescue Boat, Coast Guard and especially the Police Boat) showed remarkable patience in dealing with the woman. On the boat, and were able to finally board and restrain and help her off the vessel. She was clearly upset, crying and hysterical, but the police were calm and profession, to also a appeared to be very empathetic.

  • Alki Resident July 22, 2016 (2:26 pm)

    Peace be with this woman. We’re all human.

  • ScubaFrog July 22, 2016 (4:36 pm)

    I hope she’s ok.  Crisis is a tough, impossible place to be.  Positive energy her way, and kudos to the professionals who helped deescalate, and offer a helping hand.

  • norskgirl July 22, 2016 (5:26 pm)

    Peace and purpose and privacy to the woman.

     I am not a journalist and don’t understand the definition and marketing of “news”.  I just know if that woman were me, I would not like my crisis on the front page of a public news/information/whatever site.   

    • WSB July 22, 2016 (5:35 pm)

      Hi, Norskgirl. As with some other “person in crisis” incidents – the man on 35th last September, the man at Don Armeni in March, and other such incidents – this unfolded in a very public, visible place and people were e-mailing/texting/calling to ask what was going on. If a sizable public-safety response is called for any reason – whatever it turns out to be – in West Seattle, and people start asking us about it, we report on it. We’re not publishing the woman’s name (we don’t have it nor do we seek it) nor any other details of who she is or where she is from, nor are we showing her face – we wouldn’t even have her age if not for the fact SPD Blotter decided to feature this incident. – TR

  • Augsburg July 22, 2016 (6:29 pm)

    @Norskgirl:  Good point – it does not seem appropriate to publish photos, especially zoomed in.  A simple post would have more than handled the “need” of the public to know  what’s going on.  

  • Double Dub Resident July 22, 2016 (7:46 pm)

    Oh good lord people,  there”s nothing out of line about this article or pic.  Manufacturing issues  to rail against. 

  • XXX July 22, 2016 (8:14 pm)

    I agree with @Norskgirl and @Augsburg … stories like these always leave me wondering “why is this important to the community?” Then, I have a moment of clarity and realize that they aren’t. They really strike me as gratuitous click bait. 

    The @WSB argument that in-depth coverage is somehow warranted, seems flawed. While the situation unfolded in a public place, does that mean that its okay to publish such a long article (with photos, no less)? Does the “public right to know” override basic human decency?

    When I worked in newspapers, this type of story was banned (and still is as far as I know at the papers where I worked). If people called, we just blew them off with something along the lines of “it appears to be a suicide/crisis call.” We then moved on to stories that really make an impact on the community —  not grotesque nosy-neighbor swill.

    Cue: hysterical WSB zealots – yes, I don’t have to read it if I don’t want to. I also don’t have to patronize advertisers to the blog (and let them know why).

    • miws July 22, 2016 (9:20 pm)

      When I worked in newspapers, this type of story was banned (and still is as far as I know at the papers where I worked). If people called, we just blew them off with something along the lines of “it appears to be a suicide/crisis call.” We then moved on to stories that really make an impact on the community —  not grotesque nosy-neighbor swill.

      And that is one reason there is still a stigma against suicide and mental health issues in general. The MSM generally sweeps it under the rug, and pretends it doesn’t exist. 


    • Eric1 July 22, 2016 (9:36 pm)

      The WSB goes out of its way to be fair and honest to report on local news.  They don’t publish names or faces even when I would think it is appropriate.  Publishing something like this wouldn’t be appropriate for a city wide publication (as you probably worked with) but for the most part, this is a local incident that may have an effect on a fair number of West Seattle residents.  


      It isn’t like you could see who that was on the boat.  The best I got out of the pictures is that there is a white female with a what looks like a Bayliner boat.  It isn’t like there is only one blonde female in West Seattle (the boat wasn’t hers).  I realize people have issues in life that may be exacerbated by news coverage but when it is public and it affects others, there is a “local need to know”.  The one local boat ramp will be affected by the ambulance and rescue crews, police are often on shore blocking local road traffic, and local resources that might be used elsewhere are tied up with this incident.  These all give local residents clues on areas to avoid or situations to consider as you go about your day. 

  • Peeb July 22, 2016 (8:28 pm)

    Yes, and because stories like this (and about suicides) are banned, people don’t understand how large and widespread an issue mental illness is. There’s nothing wrong with this story. It’s a news story and it has been reported respectfully.

  • WestSeaDad July 22, 2016 (8:36 pm)

    @xxx and others, it’s important because it is an emergency response in our neighborhood and a theft of personal property. It’s similar attitudes that are ok with RVers stealing shopping carts and garbage cans from residences while making a rebuttal of “leave them alone because they are down on their luck or have mental health issues”.

     Thank you TR for your hard work and for reporting fairly on the goings-on around West Seattle. Great work! 

  • moji July 22, 2016 (8:46 pm)

    How about…WSB reported an event involving often-criticized professionals doing their difficult jobs and very likely saving someone’s life. This was the best outcome possible in this situation and you don’t want anyone to know about it?  I’m glad it was published.  What, are you just uncomfortable with the reminder that this happens even in our cozy little corner of the world?  Get a grip. The woman and her personal crisis remain unidentified. 

  • R July 22, 2016 (9:53 pm)

    As a daughter of a mother with major mental health issues I applaud the crew that helped this woman. Just like it takes a village to raise a child, it also takes one to care for a mentally ill person. You don’t know until you’re in the thick of it. 

  • KD July 22, 2016 (9:56 pm)

    XXX;   Geeez!!! Chill pill! Ain’t you the threatening one? Wow. I too want to know what is going on and appreciate the coverage. It was done respectful as someone else states. WSB has some pretty high standards and seem to always keeping themselves in check. (Aren’t they the multiple award winners too?) The television news seems a whole lot more sensationolozin in general. Do you follow up on ratting to their sponsors also? Because that would be a daily job

  • KD July 22, 2016 (9:59 pm)


  • wb July 22, 2016 (11:27 pm)

    I used to live near the Aurora Bridge.  I was shocked one day to learn that the media had stopped reporting suicides and attempts by jumpers. The reason i found was that there was a theory that the reporting caused more suicides to happen. I was appalled to discover that the bridge I drove every day was a place of numerous tragedies–and that some media folk were taking it upon themselves to censor this information. It’s a slippery slope. We have a right to know what happens in our community.

    • WSB July 22, 2016 (11:54 pm)

      WB – there are clear guidelines for reporting on suicide and attempts, and it is unfortunate that some organizations do seem to still have policies against reporting on it at all – it is an epidemic, with suicides taking far more lives than homicides.

      Because we do report on those situations sometimes here, I applied for, and was granted, a “fellowship” to attend a 3-day training seminar in Dallas a year ago, coordinated by the Poynter Institute, regarding best practices on suicide and mental-health reporting. What the experts say is that HOW suicide is reported, and described, is what makes the difference. Among other things, going into too much detail about how a person killed her/himself, romanticizing it, suggesting that a particular life event caused it, are among the “don’t’s.” The American Federation for Suicide Prevention, meantime, advises, “Covering suicide carefully, even briefly, can change public misperceptions and correct myths, which can encourage those who are vulnerable or at risk to seek help.” BTW, we heard no mention of a suicide attempt or suicidal ideation in this incident; if there had been, we would have mentioned the Crisis Clinic hotline, as we always do. “Person in crisis” is a term police now use for many situations to which they are summoned. – Tracy

      • wb July 23, 2016 (8:29 pm)

        Thanks for your considered reply. I am glad you got the opportunity to go to a conference and hear another perspective on this very important reporting issue.

  • Double Dub Resident July 23, 2016 (7:36 am)

    @ xxx, 

      Thank you so much for your hyperbole reaction. Give me a break with your manufactured anger and your pseudo righteousness.  

      To accuse this article of an actual event that  happened in our comm unity which required  rescue as synonymous with some superficial click bait drivel is ridiculous.  

      This woman’s  privacy wasn’t  violated because none of us know who she is.  There is no picture of her face and her name is not published.

      The argument  of in depth coverage is not flawed,  because the story was told without invading the woman’s privacy. The strawman argument that  this is an invasion of privacy doesn’t hold water. 

      And how is it indecent to report that a person in crisis was rescued?  Are you jumping to conclusions about how people will respond to this story?  Are you projecting from your own experiences ?

    Go find  something else to rage against the machine 


  • Ellen July 23, 2016 (4:15 pm)

    It’s good to see a decent crisis intervention where someone did not get shot by the police.   I’m sorry, but there’s been some bad examples in the national news lately.   I hope that if this had been a person of color they would have been treated with the same care.   Thank you for your good work, SPD.

  • ScubaFrog July 24, 2016 (10:24 am)

    The WSB, since I’ve browsed it (starting in 2007), has been extremely professional about respecting the anonymity of those in crisis.  They’ve also, in my opinion, been advocates for exposing suicide as an epidemic.  They’ve provided information, phone numbers and links to crisis centers.  And they’ve promoted mental health awareness in the comment sections, and in their articles.

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