Sightseeing cruise strikes rock, takes on water

About 70 people were rescued on Sunday from a sightseeing boat that struck a rock near Glacier Bay waters.

The 79-foot Allen Marine vessel “Baranof Winds” reported it was taking on water Sunday morning. The Coast Guard, National Park Service, and a Holland America Cruise ship responded, said Petty Officer David Mosley with Coast Guard public affairs.

“The cruise ship was already there on scene and when they heard about the need for assistance they immediately diverted. They were there before our helicopter could get there from Sitka,” Mosley said.

Most of the passengers transferred to the cruise ship Volendam. It took them to Bartlett Cove where another vessel was planning to bring them back to Juneau.

Two passengers were transported by the National Park Service. Mosely said four crew members remained on the boat to ensure it would stay afloat until it can be towed to Sitka.

“They’re going to stay on board until they can get the vessel taken care of, meaning a response will be planned by the owner of the vessel to come out and to salvage it, to tow it back into port, where they can make repairs,” Mosley said.

The MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Sitka delivered a dewatering pump to the Baranof Winds. The cutter Anacapa also diverted to assist the crew.

Mosley said Coast Guard Sector Juneau is sending response personnel to investigate the cause of the grounding and look for potential fuel leaks. No pollution had been discovered as of Sunday afternoon.

Allen Marine offers tours near Juneau, Sitka and Ketchikan.

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