Coast Guard responds to bomb threat directed at Maine ferry

BOSTON – The Coast Guard responded today to a false report of a bomb onboard the ferry Cat, in Bar Harbor, Maine.

At about 8 a.m., a 911 dispatcher notified the Coast Guard that someone had called in the threat.

Coast Guard Sector Northern New England, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Maine Marine Patrol, Maine State Police, Customs and Border Patrol, and other state and local agencies responded.

Ferry operations were halted and the nearly 330 people aboard were evacuated to safety while authorities swept the vessel and looked for explosives and suspicious objects.

The Coast Guard Cutter Bridle and a 55-foot boat crew from Aids to Navigation Team Southwest Harbor maintained a security zone around the ferry.

Several agencies, including bomb squads with bomb-detecting dogs, conducted thorough sweeps of the vessel. No explosives or suspicious objects were found.

The Cat has resumed its scheduled patrol to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada. The cutter Bridle and a small boat crew from Coast Guard Station Southwest Harbor escorted the ferry out of Bar Harbor.

“Fortunately the threat did not materialize for this international vessel, but I am extremely pleased with the fast, efficient and professional response we received from our port partners – Customs and Border Protection, Maine State Police, Maine Marine Patrol, Bar Harbor Police, Bar Harbor Fire Department, and Bay Ferries Ltd.,” said Captain James McPherson, commander of Sector Northern New England.

“Our daily interaction with these port partners is key to balancing the effort to protect the passengers and the vessel but also to diligently work to keep the international trade flowing once the risk is diminished. It was great work by all and a testament to everyone’s commitment to cooperation,” he said.

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