'It was bearing down on us:' Ferry riders, passengers in small boat have scary but perfect run-in

SEATTLE – A transit ferry en-route to Seattle stopped to help a small boat in distress on Friday during rush hour. The small act of kindness, made waves with the boaters, who told Q13 News their story.

“Pete sees a ferry and says, ‘hey, there’s a ferry coming right at us,’” said Keary Reim. Reim and his friend Pete Sivesind were in Puget Sound when they ran out of gas.

“It just stalled out,” he said. They didn’t panic until they saw the Walla Walla, a 440 foot transit ferry headed straight towards their small boat.

“It was bearing down on us,” said Reim.

They looked around and found a towel and an oar. Reim started trying paddling out of the way while Sivesind waved the towel to alert the vessel.

Captain Dave Frombach said he saw the boat, and feared for their safety. “They were in the commercial shipping lane,” he said.

“Then all of a sudden Pete says ‘I think they’re slowing down,’” said Reim. Frombach stopped the Walla Walla, and was in the process of backing up to their small boat.

“I am thinking, no way they’re slowing down,” said Reim. “They got people on the ferry going home.”

Captain Frombach alerted commuters on the ferry what he was doing. Once alongside the small boat, he called out to them on the loud speaker. He asked the men if they needed help from the Coast Guard and if they were OK.

Ferry captains are the eyes and ears of the Puget Sound. Frombach said they are usually first to report and in this case, were first to respond.

“We’re all boats out here, pleasure, commuters, commercial,” said Sivesind. “We’re all just trying to get home at the end of the day.”

“It renewed my faith in humanity,” said Reim. “With everything that is going on in the world, it’s just awesome.”