Ferry drill: Police train how to respond to security threats aboard a ferry in Puget Sound

PHOTO CREDIT: Wiki media commons

SEATTLE — In the middle of Puget Sound on Tuesday, a King County Sheriff's boat approached the new state ferry Chimacum.

Law enforcement officers climbed aboard, guns drawn.

It was among the more dramatic moments of a drill staged by the U.S. Coast Guard to train local police on how to respond to multiple security threats aboard a ferry.

"It's just one of the ways we prepare to make sure something like what happened in Manchester last night doesn't happen here," Ian Sterling of Washington State Ferries said.

Sterling said when it comes to ferry security, there are things you see, like Coast Guard escorts, state troopers and explosive-sniffing dogs. There are also security measures you don't see.

"You can be assured that a lot of things are happening, especially on the law enforcement level, to make sure your ferries remain the safest in the world," Sterling said.

Coast Guard officials said they conducted a similar drill on a ferry docked in Port Townsend a few months ago. They said being able to train on a ferry moving in the middle of Puget Sound was especially valuable.