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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Feb. 10, 2021 @ 11:00 AKST
Press Release: 21-0003
Contact: Andy Mills, (907) 465-8124, andy.mills@alaska.gov

Bomb Threat Delays M/V LeConte Sailing
Law enforcement take unidentified individual into custody,
determine there is no bomb threat.

(JUNEAU, Alaska) – Around 6:20 a.m. on Wednesday, February 10, 2021 at the AMHS Auke Bay terminal in Juneau, Alaska, an unidentified man driving a Toyota Tundra truck at high speeds bypassed the staging line and boarded the car deck of the M/V LeConte.  The vessel was ready to load passengers and vehicles for the scheduled sailing to Pelican.

The following are approximate times of the incident as it unfolded and the response:

  • 6:20 a.m. – Crew and shore side leadership were informed of the initial incident.  The truck bypassed the purser without checking in and at high speeds, nearly colliding with another vehicle and container.  Once the truck was stationary, an unidentified man, later confirmed to be unticketed, exited the vehicle and was heard by crew “muttering about a bomb and firearms” while trying to get back into the vehicle he had seemingly locked. Crew backed immediately away and executed the response plan to secure vessel and make a plan to evacuate any personnel and passengers. 
  • 6:35 a.m. – Juneau Police Department arrived on the scene and eventually removed the unidentified man from the scene, taking him into custody.  JPD conducted a sweep of the truck and determined there were no immediate threats.  From that information the Captain of the M/V LeConte notifies personnel to stay aboard the vessel, halting their evacuation.
  • 6:45 a.m. – U.S. Coast Guard is notified of the situation and deploys assistance.
  • 7:30 a.m. – Tow truck arrived to remove Toyota Tundra, waiting for animal control to come assist with a dog in the vehicle left by the unidentified driver who was taken into custody.
  • 8:00 a.m. – Truck was towed off the vessel.
  • 8:13 a.m. – U. S. Coast Guard Law Enforcement team arrived to the vessel to initiate an investigation and sweep the area for any ongoing or unidentified threats.

The M/V LeConte has since been cleared by the U.S. Coast Guard after a security sweep was completed. The vessel had 9 bookings for passage to Pelican – 8 vehicles and 7 people.  Those bookings will be rescheduled for those still wishing to sail to Pelican on Saturday, February 13. The normal compliment of crew aboard the M/V LeConte is approximately 23.

AMHS is an extension of the national highway system, linking 35 ports and operates over 3,500 miles, helping passengers and vehicles connect with other communities. Due to significant shortfalls in oil revenues, the state deficit has necessitated significant budget cuts in recent years, impacting programs such as AMHS which relies upon general fund dollars to supplement ticket revenues for operations.  As with many sectors during the Covid-19 pandemic, the AMHS has experienced additional loss of revenue from reduced ridership during the second and third quarters of 2020. 

UDPATE: For more details, please see the information release by the Juneau Police Department.

The Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities oversees 237 airports, 10 ferries serving 35 communities, more than 5,600 miles of highway and 776 public facilities throughout the state of Alaska. The mission of the department is to “Keep Alaska Moving through service and infrastructure.”

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