Eighty passengers evacuated from aground whale-watching boat

The following is the text of a press release issued by the U.S. Coast Guard:
(SEATTLE) — The Coast Guard is responding to a grounded vessel north of Lopez Island, Wash., Wednesday. At approximately 5:30 p.m., Wednesday, the 65-foot whale watching vessel Odyssey notified Group/Air Station Port Angeles, Wash., that the vessel had ran aground. The Odyssey reported that there were no injuries among the 80 passengers onboard, no pollution was evident and damage to the vessel was minimal.
The Coast Guard Cutter Swordfish, an 87-foot patrol boat, homeported at Group/Air Station Port Angeles responded to the scene of the Odyssey. A boarding team from the CGC Swordfish boarded the Odyssey to inspect for damage onboard the vessel and discovered the Odyssey was taking on water at a rate of approximately 1-gallon per minute. The Odyssey is equipped with dewatering devices onboard that were reported to be working.
The whale watching vessel Western Prince II and several other recreational vessels from Friday Harbor, Wash., have off-loaded the 80 passengers and are transporting them to Friday Harbor.
The CGC Henry Blake, a 175-foot buoy tender, homeported at Naval Station Everett, Wash., is in the area and standing by to assist if necessary.
The CGC Swordfish is remaining on scene to monitor the vessel, while two crew members onboard the Odyssey wait for the flooding tide to potentially free the vessel.
The weather conditions on scene are 5-10 knot winds out of the north and 1-foot seas.
By Professional Mariner Staff