Man arrested in ferry bomb threat Police sweep Tsawwassen terminal but find no explosives; sailings delayed
Lindsay Kines, (Times Colonist) Police evacuated the B.C. Ferries terminal at Tsawwassen yesterday and arrested a 32-year-old foot-passenger who was overheard saying that he was going to set off a bomb on the Spirit of Vancouver.
Bomb-sniffing dogs from the Delta police and RCMP swept the terminal, but failed to locate any explosives. Ferry service resumed after a brief delay.
It’s the third time this year that B.C. Ferries has been the target of a threat, and the company is threatening possible legal action in the latest incident.
“When we have bomb threats like this, we take them all very seriously,” B.C. Ferries spokesman Mark Stefanson said. “If they turn out to be hoaxes, then we may have to proceed with lawsuits, because people need to realize that making threats is very serious and it causes major problems to the travelling public.”
Delta police said in a news release that the incident happened just before 5 p.m. when other passengers overheard the man “saying he was going to set a bomb off on the Spirit of Vancouver.”
The passengers alerted staff and security detained the man until Delta police arrived to arrest the man and secure his luggage. In addition to calling in the dog units, Delta police also contacted Sidney RCMP and requested they use bomb dogs to search the Spirit of Vancouver when it arrived at Swartz Bay.
“It appears to be a hoax at this stage,” Stefanson said. “They did a sweep. There was nothing found.”
But Stefanson said the threat prevented the Queen of Saanich from Swartz Bay and the Queen of Coquitlam from Duke Point from docking at Tsawwassen.
The delay lasted about 20 minutes, he said. Later in the evening, ferries were running about an hour behind schedule.
“Obviously, any time there’s a delay it can frustrate the travelling public,” Stefanson said. “Trying to be humorous, funny or just acting stupid can result in serious consequences whether it’s a hoax or not.”
Earlier this year, a Nanaimo man who threatened to send a letter bomb to B.C. Ferries was barred indefinitely from travelling on the fleet. That incident also happened at Tsawwassen, where the man got in an argument with a ticket agent over service and the state of the terminal.
On July 28, another bomb threat was made against B.C. Ferries that halted ferry traffic for five hours and delayed thousands of passengers. Delta police ordered a forensic analysis of the tape containing the telephoned bomb threat.
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