Casino boat on maiden voyage grounds off Georgia (UPDATE)


The following is the text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard:

(TYBEE ISLAND, Ga.) (July 17) — The casino boat Escapade is moored at its homeport and is no longer aground in Calibogue Sound near Tybee Island on Thursday.

The 174-foot vessel freed itself under its own power at high tide about 12:45 p.m. without the use of commercial salvage boats and transited to its homeport at Bull River Marina in Savannah, Ga., where it is currently moored.

Two Coast Guard marine inspectors boarded the Escapade after it became free and conducted a damage assessment before the vessel returned to its mooring at Bull River Marina.

Coast Guard watchstanders at Station Tybee Island were notified at 12:15 a.m. Wednesday that the Escapade ran aground with 94 passengers and 31 staff and crewmembers aboard Tuesday night during the ship’s maiden voyage.

Coast Guard crews from Station Tybee Island, Air Station Savannah and the Coast Guard cutters Tarpon and Maria Bray worked together to remove 118 passengers and non-essential crew and staff from the Escapade on Wednesday afternoon.

The cause of the incident remains under Coast Guard investigation.


(SAVANNAH, Ga.) (July 17) — A casino boat on its maiden voyage ran aground off Tybee Island on Wednesday with about 120 passengers and crew, WTOC reported. A Coast Guard helicopter and rescue boats evacuated all aboard Escapade more than 12 hours after they were scheduled to return to port. Attempts to pull the ship free later in the day failed when tow lines repeatedly broke.

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The following is the text of a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard:

(SAVANNAH, Ga.) (July 16) — The Coast Guard is responding to a report of a grounded casino boat in the vicinity of Calibogue Sound, S.C., on Wednesday.

No pollution or injuries have been reported.

The Escapade, a 174-foot vessel, was carrying 96 passengers and 27 crewmembers when it grounded on a rocky bottom.

Coast Guardsmen from Station Tybee Island are on scene aboard a 25-foot response boat monitoring the situation. A tow company has been called in to assist with the salvage of the vessel and the removal of passengers.

The contracted crews are planning to use high tide to assist with passenger transfer efforts. High tide is scheduled for midday Wednesday.

By Professional Mariner Staff