The following is the text of a press release issued by the U.S. Coast Guard:
(JACKSONVILLE, Fla.) — A local casino cruise ship broke free of its moorings due to high winds and rough seas associated with Tropical Storm Fay Friday at 6 a.m. in Mayport, Fla.
The Sun Cruz casino ship broke free after high winds and rough seas parted the mooring lines that were securing the ship to its berth in Mayport. Only two people were aboard the vessel when it broke free. The ship grounded in the St. Johns River east of the Jacksonville Pilot’s Station.
A small tug that was moored near the Sun Cruz was able to get underway and pull the vessel free. The tug towed Sun Cruz back to its berth.
There is no reported damage to the Sun Cruz and no apparent pollution associated with the ship’s grounding.
Coast Guard crews are investigating the grounding to further determine the cause of the grounding and review the ship’s heavy weather preparations.
The Port of Jacksonville remains closed as Coast Guard crews conduct post-storm assessments of waterside facilities and the waterways to ensure they are safe for vessels to enter.