July 7, 2008
Small cruise ship grounds ... again
Cruise West doesn't seem to be having the best of luck with the vessel that now bears the name Spirit of Glacier Bay and that last year was named Spirit of Nantucket.
Today, passengers aboard the 178-foot vessely found themselves experiencing some nine hours of being stranded after the vessel grounded in Tarr Inlet near Alaska's Glacier Bay National Park with 51 people aboard at approximately 7:45 a.m.
The Coast Guard launched two MH-60 Jayhawk helicopters from Air Station Sitka, a 47-foot motor life boat and a 25-foot response boat from Station Juneau, and launched the 110-foot Coast Guard Cutter Liberty, from Auke Bay, to assist the vessel.
The vessel was successfully refloated, the passengers have been transferred to the airport and an investigation into the cause of the incident is reportedly underway.
Last year, as the Spirit of Nantucket, the vessel was grounded by its captain to avoid sinking after it apparently hit a submerged object in the Intracoastal Waterway near Pungo Ferry Bridge when on a 10 day cruise from Alexandria, Va, to Charleston, S.C.