The U.S. Coast Guard received numerous calls from witnesses who said they saw a boat driving erratically and heard screams for help.

Share story

An unmanned boat created a spectacle Friday evening after the pilot fell overboard and the craft drove in erratic circles out of control in Puget Sound off Normandy Park, King County.

The U.S. Coast Guard received numerous calls from witnesses who said they saw a boat driving wildly and heard screams for help.

The 17-foot Boston Whaler fitted with an outboard motor was being driven by a man who was doing sharp turns and apparently fell out of the craft.  The pilot swam ashore and was interviewed by the local police, according to Coast Guard Lt. j.g. Lindsey Neumann.

(Tom Matsuzawa/KIRO 7)
(Tom Matsuzawa/KIRO 7)

“We launched our Coast Guard small boat from station Seattle and issued an urgent marine information broadcast,” Neumann said.

The U.S. Coast Guard boat is nearby monitoring the boat to ensure no other vessel gets close.

Neumann said the boat had about six gallons of fuel as of roughly 5:45 p.m. and would be allowed to run until it’s empty. Once it stops, law enforcement will tow the boat to the closest marina and investigate to determine whether the driver was properly licensed and had required safety equipment.

“If he has anything missing he may get a warning or citation,” Neumann said.

Most Read Local Stories

Unlimited Digital Access. $1 for 4 weeks.