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Social Media and Coast Guard cases

Well, we had an interesting morning, not that every morning isn’t interesting but this one will stand out as the day that things changed. I don’t like to write stories about myself and don’t believe that public affairs should be part of the story we tell, but in this case it is the story.

(photo from Twitter user JohnLivengood)

I got a call from KOMO News, one of our local tv stations, asking about a report of a man overboard from the Washington State Ferry Wenatchee. The duty PA was out covering another event so I took the call and told the person on the other end that I’d have to check with the command center. Indeed, there was a report of a man overboard from the ferry. A passenger reported seeing someone in the water between Bainbridge Island and Seattle in Elliott Bay. I called KOMO back with the details and went into public affairs mode. I double checked with Sector Seattle, confirmed the information and opened our website to start a release. Then the phones started ringing off the hook.

What follows is, as best as I could capture, a tweet by tweet account of the unfolding case.

First Tweet @ 0826

komonewsA person has fallen off of a Washington State ferry on the Bainbridge-to-Seattle run. Details soon at http://komonews.com

JohnLivengoodMan overboard report on the Seattle/Bainbridge 7:55 boat. Not confirmed but we’ve turned around. http://yfrog.com/5azsmj

tharkad Hey @toddaburke, can you let everyone know that I’m going to be late for work – there’s a #manoverboard on the Bainbridge ferry.

KING5SeattleReport of a possible person overboard from Ferry Wenatchee on run from Bainbridge to Seattle – Coast Guard assisting in search

uscgd13Coast Guard is launching on a man overboard off the Ferry Wenatachee on the Bainbridge Island run.

uscgd13One helicopter from Port Angeles and a boat from Station Seattle on the waty

KING5AMNEWSBREAKING NEWS: Search underway for passenger who may have fallen off Bainbridge Island ferry “Wenatchee”. USCG helping in search.

KING5SeattleFerry search RT @uscgd13 One helicopter from Port Angeles and a boat from Station Seattle on the way

KING5AMNEWSFerry search update: RT @uscgd13 One helicopter from Port Angeles and a boat from Station Seattle on the waty

komonewsDetails on the passenger overboard report on a Washington State ferry: http://bit.ly/2vepxr

KING5SeattleFerry search live at http://bit.ly/18pfXI

RachelleKOMOHearing someone just fell off the Bainbridge Island ferry run. Coast Guard looking and we have a crew on the way.

RachelleKOMORT @uscgd13 One helicopter from Port Angeles and a boat from Station Seattle on the way

KING5AMNEWSFerry Search: Is anyone aboard the ferry “Wenatchee” right now? Please tweet us what you see.

KING5SeattleFerry search live at http://bit.ly/18pfXI

KING5AMNEWSRT @KING5Seattle Ferry search live at http://bit.ly/18pfXI

wsdotRT @JohnLivengood: Man overboard report on the Seattle/Bainbridge 7:55 boat. Not confirmed but we’ve turned around. http://yfrog.com/5azsmj

wsdotRT @KING5AMNEWS: Ferry Search: Is anyone aboard the ferry “Wenatchee” right now? Please tweet us what you see.

JohnLivengood4 rescue boats in water a tug and passenger ferry and a plane overhead. Appears they’ve found nothing. http://yfrog.com/0kdnkj

pnwlocalnewsRT @KING5AMNEWS BREAKING: Search underway for passenger who may have fallen off Bainbridge Island ferry “Wenatchee”. USCG helping in search.

(photo from Twitter user JohnLivengood)

[email protected] KOMO has a reporter aboard the ferry: details here http://bit.ly/2vepxr

komonewsradioKOMO’S Kristin Hanes is on the Wenatchee Ferry where the person went overboard…stay with us for more details.

KING5SeattleRT @JohnLivengood 4 rescue boats in water a tug & passenger ferry and plane overhead. Appears they’ve found nothing. http://yfrog.com/0kdnkj

KING5AMNEWSRT @wsdot RT @JohnLivengood: Man overboard report on the Seattle/Bainbridge 7:55 boat. Not confirmed . http://yfrog.com/5azsmj

wsdotRT @tharkad: Uh oh, they just asked for the person who reported the #manoverboard on the Bainbridge ferry to report to the 2nd mates office.

wsdotRT @komonews: KOMO has a reporter aboard the ferry: details here http://bit.ly/2vepxr

KING5SeattleFerry Search: Is anyone aboard the ferry “Wenatchee” right now? Please tweet us what you see.

KTVLcheck out @uscgd13 @wsdot for a tweet-by-tweet on an interesting “man overboard” report on a Seattle ferry

komonewsOfficials are now saying that the report of a person overboard on the Ferry Wenatchee was a false report.

wsdotRT @komonews: Officials are now saying that the report of a person overboard on the Ferry Wenatchee was a false report.

[email protected] the Coast Guard is standing down from the search.

RachelleKOMOKOMO News desk telling me man over board is a false alarm!

uscgd13The report came from a passenger who thought they saw a person in the water.

KING5SeattleFerry Captain just announced they didn’t find anything, moving into port #manoverboard

RachelleKOMORT @uscgd13 The report came from a passenger who thought they saw a person in the water.

komonewsradioRT @komonews: Officials are now saying that the report of a person overboard on the Ferry Wenatchee was a false report.

wsdotRT @uscgd13: The report came from a passenger who thought they saw a person in the water.

JohnLivengoodI was sitting in area of person who reported man overboard.i saw something in the water too. Debris I think but unusual. Orange and white?

KING5SeattleCoast Guard now telling us reported person overboard was a.. log with a balloon (thanks for quick response @uscg13 )

wsdotRT @tharkad: Another boat on the scene at the Bainbridge ferry #manoverboard. http://twitpic.com/71r3m – false alarm

wsdotYou just saw breaking news happen via Twitter. Glad to hear it was a false alarm 🙂

[email protected] first time I’ve run a breaking case via twitter

KING5SeattleYou guys rock @uscgd13 @wsdot first time I’ve run a breaking case via twitter.

KING5AMNEWSI second this! RT @KING5Seattle You guys rock @uscgd13 @wsdot first time I’ve run a breaking case via twitter

wsdotRT @JohnLivengood 4 rescue boats, a tug passenger ferry & a plane overhead. http://yfrog.com/0kdnkj (via @morriganfae) pics from scene

[email protected] – Thanks for the updates!

KIRO7SeattleFerry passenger says they saw person in the water in Elliott Bay. Coast Guard says it was just a log.

[email protected]: Coast Guard is launching on a man overboard off the Ferry Wenatachee on the Bainbridge Island run. “No Joy”

KTVLRT @komonews: KOMO has a reporter aboard the ferry: details here http://bit.ly/2vepxr

[email protected] Thanks for all of the great information. We really appreciate it!

wsferriesSeattle/Bainbridge Running Late: The 8:45am sailing from Seattle will be 20 minutes late due to an earlier search and rescue. This may a …

pnwlocalnewsBainbridgeReview.com’s wrap-up of the “man overboard” false alarm http://bit.ly/Cqp3M

wsdotRT @evilbusdriver: Was the person who made the false report forced to walk the plank? – No, lol.

KIRO7SeattleLog Sparks Needless Search For Overboard Ferry Passenger http://tinyurl.com/lnemvj

KING5SeattleRT @evilbusdriver: Was the person who made the false report forced to walk the plank? (via @wsdot)

tharkadI’m glad there was no #manoverboard on the Bainbridge ferry-the Twitter reporting was interesting. Found some fellow riders.

KING5SeattleGreat job! Did you have a boat/helicopter at the scene for awhile? (writing for our noon news)

KING5SeattleNo it was over before it made it. I saw a plane flying in circles and I know Our boat made it.

Last tweet @ 0935

In the end it was a false report and everyone was safe, but the way it ran, the way we were able to follow it real time, from passengers, media, rescuers and partners will be an expectation in the future rather than an exception to the rule.

Why no formal press release? No time, no one to write it, but since we consider any time we talk to the media a press release, well this is just a micro-press release.

http://uscgd13.blogspot.com/2009/06/social-media-and-coast-guard-cases.html

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Profile Photo Paul Roszkowski

Thanks. It was kind of surreal after it was over. I kind of had to ask myself if, “that just happened.” All of this happened on a stand-alone computer because the Coast Guard considers Twitter a dating site and doesn’t have it on our system.