Alaska cruise ship touches bottom, damages rudder

The following is the text of a press release issued by the U.S. Coast Guard:
(JUNEAU, Alaska) — The Coast Guard is responding to a disabled cruise ship that was reportedly damaged when it touched bottom in Tracy Arm this morning.

At 8 a.m., Coast Guard Sector Juneau received a call from the cruise ship Spirit of Alaska reporting that they had touched bottom and were requesting assistance. The ship reported unknown damage affecting its rudder and no injuries to passengers or crew.

The Coast Guard Cutter Liberty, a 110-foot patrol boat, was immediately launched from Auke Bay. A 47-foot motor life boat from Station Juneau and an HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter from Air Station Sitka were also launched. The 124-foot cruise ship has 41 passengers and 22 crewmembers aboard.

A Coast Guard inspector and a commercial diver are on scene assessing the damage.

By Professional Mariner Staff