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Cruise Ship Runs Aground In Park

Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve

National Park News

The Spirit of Glacier Bay, operated by Cruise West, went aground at just after 7 a.m. on Monday, July 7th, near Grand Pacific Glacier in Tarr Inlet. There were no injuries to any of the 24 passengers or 27 crew members. The ship lifted off the bottom on a rising tide shortly after 4 p.m. that afternoon. Passengers were then unloaded from the Spirit of Glacier Bay onto another ship for passage out of the bay, and the Spirit was escorted about 60 miles down the bay by the US Coast Guard to Bartlett Cove, where it was moored and an assessment performed. Initial indications from the Coast Guard are that the vessel’s hull did not appear to be breached, but an internal examination revealed damage to the shell plating and framing. Several interior doors also could not be shut. The Coast Guard responded to the incident with two MH-60 helicopters, two small boats and the 110-foot cutter Liberty. The NPS response included three small boats with spill response gear. The concession day tour vessel Fairweather II Express also responded and took passengers off the larger ship. At the time of the grounding, the ship was moving at just a half knot per hour. After running aground, the ship was stable with a one degree port list and is currently three degrees down by the bow. Weather at the time of the incident was clear and mild. The ship was on the third day of a four-day Glacier Bay cruise. Glacier Bay NP sees more than 150 cruise ships in the bay each summer and had an annual visitation of 438,000 in 2007.


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