Tugboat horn blares for 4 hours; dogs howl, and so do humans

EVERETT — Many in Everett were roused awake Sunday night by a malfunctioning tugboat horn.

The noise blaring from the city’s port could be heard as far inland as 41st Street, said Everett police officer Aaron Snell. It continued for four hours, prompting about 100 calls to 911.

Micki Hazen, 50, woke up to the horn blasts around 11:30 p.m. She lives in an apartment on Grand Avenue that faces the waterfront. Hazen initially thought there was an emergency.

“It was terrifically loud. I bolted out of bed thinking it was the fire alarm or the Navy base was having an incident of some kind,” she said.

Dogs in her apartment building had started to howl.

“I have a fan in my window — and of course it being the hottest day of the year, it was on — I couldn’t even hear the fan the siren was so loud,” Hazen said.

Meanwhile, workers with a boat building company based on Whidbey Island were trying to disable the horn. They had been finishing work on the new tugboat, which was moored at one of the Port of Everett’s piers.

They called in a technician for help, who traveled from Whidbey Island to Everett in the middle of the night, said Lisa Lefeber, a spokeswoman with the Port of Everett.

Hazen turned on her television and cranked up the volume while she waited. She eventually took a couple sleeping pills and dozed off.

At 1:30 a.m., she was awake again.

“Please accept our sincere apologies on the noise, the time it took to figure out how to turn off the horn and the fact that it happened on the hottest day of the year so far,” Les Reardanz, CEO of the Port of Everett, said in a press release Monday.

The horn was turned off by 3:30 a.m.

Caitlin Tompkins: 425-339-3192; ctompkins@heraldnet.com.

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