Alaska Ferry Runs Aground

Tuesday, May 11, 2004
Coast Guard crews were continuing to respond to the Alaska Marine Highway System ferry LeConte that struck rocks, grounded and began taking on water about 30 miles north of Sitka in Peril Strait near Cozian Reef. Coast Guard helicopter crews from Sitka, along with the Cutters Maple and Anacapa, are assisting along with a variety of Good Samaritans including tugboat crews and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration vessel John Cobb. The 86 passengers and non-essential crewmembers from the ferry have been safely transferred to two Allen Marine catamarans, the St. Eugene and the St. Tatiana. As the tide receded the vessel ceased taking on water. As of about 1 p.m. yesterday, the vessel was dewatered and listing about 10 degrees to port. Main power was off and the ship was running on auxiliary systems. Two Coast Guard Repair and Assist teams comprised of highly trained Coast Guard members are on board the 235-ft. Leconte effecting repairs. Two passengers were medevaced from the vessel with a possible back injury to Sitka via Coast Guard helicopter. There is no evidence of pollution in the water. Officers from Marine Safety Office Juneau will be investigating the accident.

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