Whale-watching boat runs aground in Alaska channel

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(JUNEAU, Alaska) — A whale-watching boat ran aground Wednesday morning in Favorite Channel north of Juneau, breaching the vessel's hull, KTOO Public Media reported.

St. Maria, operated by Allen Marine, was near Eagle Rock when it struck a sandbar, U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Nicholas Capuzzi said.

“The reason they were up there is because there’s a lot of seals that they can spot up there, so when they’re not doing whales they’re looking at other mammals, and the seals are in that area,” he said. “They were probably following them along and the tide was a little lower than they expected.”

No injuries were reported among the 113 passengers on board. The boat sustained a small crack in the port hull, but Capuzzi said St. Maria’s pumps were able to keep the vessel dewatered. The boat refloated on the incoming tide.

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By Professional Mariner Staff