The following is the text of a press release issued by the U.S. Coast Guard:
(PORTLAND, Me.) — Ninety-six passengers were evacuated from a Portland-based ferry that ran aground about half a mile southeast of Basket Island, off the coast of Maine around 10 p.m., Friday.
There were no reports of pollution or injuries to the 96 passengers and three crew aboard.
The Bay Mist refloated with the incoming tide around 3:15 a.m., and an inspection of the hull showed no signs of a puncture. The ferry and its three crew were escorted by tug to the Casco Bay ferry dock in Portland.
“I am very grateful and pleased with the outstanding cooperation of the Maine Marine Patrol, Falmouth Police Department, Long Island Harbormaster and Casco Bay Ferries in safely evacuating 96 passengers from a grounded vessel at night in Casco Bay,” said Capt. Jim McPherson, commander of Coast Guard Sector Northern New England. “Our daily interactions and training pay off well during these incidents.”
Coast Guard Station South Portland received the initial radio call at 9:58 p.m., reporting the 84-foot Bay Mist had run aground. The station launched a 25-foot and a 47-foot rescue boat to help evacuate the passengers from the stranded vessel.
The case is under investigation.