Archive for Friday, November 9, 2007

Ship runs aground; passengers rescued

November 9, 2007

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— The captain of a small cruise ship with 66 people aboard ran the vessel aground early Thursday to keep it from sinking after it began taking on water, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

The people on board were rescued safely with no injuries reported.

The captain wanted to keep the 207-foot ship from sinking in the Intracoastal Waterway, the Coast Guard said. It wasn't clear why it was taking on water.

Two 41-foot Coast Guard boats moved the ship's passengers and crew to a ferry landing about 2 miles away from the rural area off Virginia Beach, Petty Officer Christopher Evanson said.

The cruise ship was lodged in mud about 9 feet below the water's surface. A Coast Guard helicopter lowered pumps to help remove the water in the ship. The ship was only about 100 feet from shore, but the surrounding area is a wooded swamp, Evanson said.

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