The 299-ft. cruise ship Empress of the North ran aground 49 miles west of Juneau near Hanus Reef
in Lynn Canal
, Alaska this morning (Monday, May 14, 2007)at about 2a.m. local Alaska time
. Coast Guard and other Good Samaritan vessels are coordinating efforts to evacuate the 281 passengers on board. No injuries have been reported, and it was reported that all passengers had been safely evacuated and the vessel was headed to Juneau.
The weather on scene is calm, according to USCG reports. The Coast Guard is working with other state and federal agencies to ensure the safety of everyone on board and to mitigate any potential environmental damage. The vessel is owned an operated by Majestic America Line of Seattle, WA.
The Empress of the North contacted the Coast Guard via VHF radio on Channel 16 reporting they were aground with 281 passengers on board. Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak launched a C-130 crew and a pre-deployed HH-60 helicopter crew from Cordova, Alaska to the scene.