Good Company

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Monday, May 14, 2007


What happens to ships sometimes is they are run aground: Cruise Ship Hits Rock. More here:
A riverboat-style cruise ship ran aground off the Alaska coast early Monday, forcing an evacuation of more than 200 passengers before it could move again with a Coast Guard escort.

All passengers had been evacuated from the Empress of the North by 7 a.m., Chief Petty Officer Barry Lane said. There were no reports of injuries.

The ship left under its own power and arrived in Juneau with a Coast Guard escort about 10 hours after the grounding, Lane said.
It wasn't immediately clear why the cruise ship ran around, McLaughlin said. It was drizzling in Juneau but the seas were calm.

The National Transportation Safety Board was to investigate.
Let's see, the possibilities are: poor navigation, some sort of engineering casualty or simple stupidity.

Not the first time for this ship:

This is not the first time Empress of the North has run into trouble. Almost exactly a year ago, the boat hit a sandbar in the Columbia River and passengers were offloaded onto Queen of the West, another paddlewheeler owned by Majestic America Line. In 2003, the year it debuted, Empress of the North also was grounded in the Columbia River.
Shifting sandbars might be one thing, but a charted reef?

UPDATE: Map of Alaska cruise routes, including the Icy Strait from here:

UPDATE2: Another look at the area, with the arrow pointing to the Icy Strait near Glacier Bay.

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