Pocket Cruise Ship Grounds in Alaska

The Juneau Empire is reporting:

A cruise ship scraped the bottom of the Tracy Arm fjord Wednesday morning, forcing its crew to cut short its trip and call the U.S. Coast Guard for assistance.

The Spirit of Alaska called the Coast Guard around 8 a.m. Wednesday, Coast Guard Petty Officer Levi Read said.

The boat is owned by Seattle-based Cruise West, which says on its Web site that the 143-foot boat has a “shallow draft” that makes for “optimum wildlife viewing.”

There were 41 passengers on board and 22 crew members, Read said. He said there were no reported injuries.

After hitting bottom, the boat anchored and waited for an inspector from the Coast Guard and a commercial diver to survey the damage to the boat, Read said.

He said the Coast Guard had dispatched two boats and a helicopter to assist the boat. A tugboat was scheduled to pull the Spirit of Alaska back to Juneau on Wednesday evening, according to the Coast Guard.

A spokesman for Cruise West said Wednesday afternoon that the Spirit of Alaska was on the second day of a seven-day trip that was to start and end in Juneau.

The complete Juneau Empire post is here.

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This post was written by Richard Rodriguez, Rescue Tug Captain, and US Coast Guard approved instructor for License Training. You can read more of his articles at the BitterEnd of the net.