Cruise passengers rescued after props become entangled

The following is the text of a press release issued by the U.S. Coast Guard:
(NEW YORK) — 52 passengers and crew were transported to shore from a 62-foot harbor cruise vessel after its props became entangled while anchored in Sandy Hook Bay in Atlantic Highlands, N.J., at about 11:40 p.m. Saturday.

Coast Guard Sector New York received a call over marine band radio channel 16 at 9:15 p.m. from the master of the Atlantic Highlands Princess who reported that the vessel had lost power to both of its engines and was drifting toward the break wall. Once the vessel anchored to keep from drifting its propellers were found entangled in the mooring lines of a nearby vessel and the chains from a mooring ball.

A rescue crew from Coast Guard Station Sandy Hook arrived on scene at 9:45 p.m. and began transporting all of the passengers and four crew members to shore. The captain and two crew members remained on the vessel.

Commercial divers arrived on scene at about 9:45 p.m. and awaited arrival of a commercial tug from Island Towing to free the vessel. The tug arrived at about 10 a.m. Sunday and the divers began work to release the line and chain. Once the lines are free, the tug will assist in transporting the vessel to its home port of Atlantic Highland Marina.

“Fortunately the vessel’s home pier is less than a mile away so the passengers had easy access to their transportation once they got onshore,” said Lt. Erica Mack, a Coast Guard Sector New York command duty officer.

There were no reported injuries and no reported pollution in the water.

Weather on scene at the time of the incident was 14 mile per hour winds with 35 mile per hour gusts and one-foot seas.

By Professional Mariner Staff