Cruise Ship Strikes Bottom

Tuesday, June 17, 2003
A cruise ship with 72 passengers and 21 crewmembers headed to Whittier hit bottom Thursday night in Prince William Sound. The master of the cruise ship Spirit of Columbia reported to Prince William Sound vessel traffic service (VTS) around 7:50 p.m. that his vessel had went “touch and go” (hit bottom) and possibly bent the port shaft and propeller in Jackpot Bay, approximately 75 miles south of Whittier. The master of the vessel reported there was no apparent hull damage, pollution, or water entering the vessel. The master felt it safe to continue to transit to Whittier with the starboard propeller. The vessel was placed on a one-hour communication schedule with the VTS until they reached Whittier safely at 4:30 a.m. today. All passengers were safely off-loaded in Whittier. Company officials, divers and a marine inspector from Coast Guard Marine Safety Office Anchorage are currently inspecting the vessel for damage. Coast Guard Marine Safety Office Valdez is assisting with the investigation.

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