A young man dumped a backpack into a garbage can on a ferry and ran off the boat this afternoon, prompting state officials to evacuate the vessel...

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For three hours tonight, ferry passengers bound for Bainbridge Island were delayed and diverted because of a suspicious backpack that later turned out to contain only a thermos, calculator and some paper.

Around 6:45 p.m., State Patrol bomb experts determined there was no danger after a young man was seen dumping a backpack into a garbage can on a ferry, then running off the boat as it docked at the Bainbridge Island ferry terminal, said Trooper Scott Harter. The incident aboard the ferry Puyallup, which departed from Seattle and arrived at the Bainbridge Island terminal around 3:45 p.m., prompted officials to evacuate the vessel, call in the bomb squad and divert ferries from Seattle to Kingston for most of the rush hour, he said.

The backpack was X-rayed before a bomb squad member opened it, Harter said. No one has come forward to report a stolen bag, and officials don’t know who left it in the garbage can aboard the ferry, he said.

“There’s no question it was suspicious activity,” Harter said of the young man who ditched the bag and then ran. “We have to take all these things very seriously.”