Associated Press April 28, 2008
Department of Homeland Security praises Thumper crew for reporting suspicious activity on the water during Guemes Island Race.
"Initially, it appeared to be a typical yacht club race. There was a fairly good turnout and most of the boats of involved in the race were well known to us. The day started normally and boats raced together out Guemes channel for the first hour or so, when I noticed some suspicious activity on a Catalina 27 that appeared to be a local boat "Syndicat". However, when the fleet turned north to round Guemes Island, this boat continued west and actually began to round Cypress Island. This was a red flag to all of us onboard that someone unfamiliar with the local waters had siezed control of the vessel. Furthermore, skipper Jerry Vanderveen could not be seen on deck, a fact which raised enough concern that we thought we better investigate." Stated Andy Schwenk (USCG extremely retired), Captain of the Cutter Blowhard.
Although it turned out to be a false alarm, Junior Petty Dress Inspector Officer Parker of U.S Customs and Border Protection Agency thanked the crew for doing their part to combat domestic terrorism and asked all AYC boats to keep a sharp lookout for these kind of anomalies.
In this case it turned out that the entire Syndicat crew was down below having a "Rum" break, plus they were using an out of date chart from Juan De Fuca's voyage prior to the discovery of Cypress Island - hence the obvious confusion.
For the full story, please refer to the Seattle Times: