Lights & Sirens

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Category: Maritime


UPDATED: Woman’s body pulled from car that went into water at Day Island

3:20 p.m. UPDATE:

The woman has been identified as Michaela Baker, a 21-year-old Tacoma resident. An autopsy revealed she drowned. Her manner of death – whether accidental or suicide – was pending further investigation.

12:45 p.m. UPDATE:

The victim is a 21-year-old woman. Her name has not yet been released. The Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office was conducting an autopsy on her today to determine how she died.


A body has been recovered this morning from a submerged car off the Narrows Marina at Day Island.

A fisherman called 911 about 6:50 a.m. after spotting a red

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UPDATED: Tacoma fire responds to hazmat spill aboard a ship at the port

Crews have started cleaning up a highly flammable liquid that spilled inside a cargo ship and on the dock area of the Washington United Terminal at the Port of Tacoma early today.

The terminal, 1815 Port of Tacoma Road, is closed as crews do their work, Tacoma fire spokesman Joe Meinecke said. He anticipated the work will keep the terminal closed for another couple of hours.

Tacoma firefighters were called to the terminal just after 3:50 a.m. today for reports of a hazardous materials spill.

Crew members were off-loading a container from the Hyundai Oakland cargo ship when they noticed

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UPDATED: Tacoma fire boat rescues man after kayak overturns in Puget Sound

Tacoma firefighters rescued a man stranded in the water off Browns Point early today after his kayak overturned.

A crew aboard the fire boat Commencement transported the man to shore shortly after 4:30 a.m. He was taken to a local hospital for evaluation, fire spokesman Joe Meinecke said.  The man had been wearing a life jacket.

It was not immediately known why the man was in the water in the middle of the night or how he got stranded. He’d been out with a canoe and kayak that were tied together with a 15-foot rope.

The incident woke up several

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Jurors deliberating case of Lake Tapps man charged with homicide by watercraft

Lights & Sirens has learned attorneys gave closing arguments today in the trial of Neil Richard Larsen. Jurors got the case late this afternoon.

Larsen is charged with homicide by watercraft and four counts of watercraft assault in a Sept. 29, 2008, collision on Lake Tapps that killed Ron Scott.

Testimony began about two weeks ago.

Prosecutors contend Larsen had been drinking and was speeding when his boat slammed into Scott’s vessel that night. Larsen’s lawyer argues Scott had been drinking himself and parked his boat at the end of a narrow channel with its lights off.


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Crews find scrap boat after report of possible capsize

A Tacoma Fire Department fireboat is hauling an 18-foot vessel back to harbor after being dispatched to a possible capsized boat east of the Narrows Bridge.

The fireboat and an engine company headed to the scene about an hour ago. Crews found what appeared to be a scrap boat, said Assistant Chief Jolene Davis.

The sides reportedly cut off and no one was aboard.

“It sounds like a piece that was adrift as opposed to a boat that was recently capsized,” Davis said.

The Coast Guard was searching the waters around Fox Island and the Tacoma Narrows on Thursday for

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Crews responding to diesel spill on Blair Waterway

Clean-up crews are responding to a diesel fuel spill this afternoon in Tacoma’s Blair Waterway.

The waterway is open to marine traffic but vessels should avoid making wakes and should stay away from the clean-up area.

An employee with U.S. Oil & Refining Co. noticed a leak on a partially open bleeder valve during a fuel transfer today, the state Department of Ecology reports. Workers shut the valve, halting the transfer.

An oil containment boom has been deployed.

Based on preliminary observations, crews believe less than 25 gallons of diesel fuel has spilled from the shore side into the Blair

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Coast Guard identifies three killed, one injured in helicopter crash

The U.S. Coast Guard just issued the following press release on the identities of those involved in yesterday’s helicopter crash:

The U.S. Coast Guard has identified the one survivor and three crew members who lost their lives, Wednesday, after their MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crashed in the waters off of James Island, near La Push, Wash.

Lt. Lance D. Leone, 29, of Ventura, Calif., survived the crash and is being treated at a Seattle hospital with non-life threatening injuries.  He is married.

Deceased are:

Lt. Sean D. Krueger, 33, of Seymour, Conn.  The Aircraft Commander is married with three children.  His

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Coast Guard helicopters crashes off Washington coast, 2 crew members rescued so far

The U.S. Coast Guard released the following press release about the crash of one of its helicopters

SEATTLE – Multiple U.S. Coast Guard units are responding to an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crash that occurred, Wednesday, in the waters near James Island, Wash.

The Coast Guard helicopter, and its 4-person crew, were departing U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Astoria, Ore., and were en route to Sitka, Alaska.

The Coast Guard lost contact with the helicopter at 9:32 a.m.  A good Samaritan retrieved two crewmembers from the water and transferred them to Emergency Medical Services.

Coast Guard Air Station Astoria launched an

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