With help from the Coast Guard, the National Park Service, and a commercial cruise ship, more than 70 people were safely rescued from a sightseeing ship at Glacier Bay National Park that began taking on water after apparently hitting a rock.
The ship, the Baranof Wind, was in the west arm of Glacier Bay near Russell Island on Sunday when it began taking on water and requested assistance.
The Coast Guard launched an Air Station Sitka MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew with a dewatering pump and diverted the Coast Guard Cutter Anacapa to assist. Meanwhile, the Holland America cruise ship Volendam used its tender to transfer passengers from the Baranof Wind to their vessel.
Seventy passengers were taken aboard the cruise ship, while two others were transferred to a Park Service vessel. Four crewmembers remained aboard the Baranof Wind to maintain pumps and monitor the vessel.
Flooding had been contained, and an anchor was deployed to help stabilize the vessel. There were no reports of any pollution at this time.
"I extend my great appreciation and heartfelt gratitude to all the participants in their efforts to aid the Baranof Wind," said Glacier Bay Superintendent Susan Boudreau. "This was a phenomenal effort from everyone. Thank you so much for providing such professional assistance."
Coast Guard Sector Juneau is sending response personnel to investigate the cause of the grounding and any pollution potential. They are also working with the Park Service and Allen Marine to develop a towing plan to deliver the Baranof Wind to Sitka, Alaska.
The Baranof Wind is a popular cruise ship that makes day-long sigtseeing runs up Glacier Bay from Gustavus Bay to Johns Hopkins.