Holland America Rescues 70 from Alaska Sightseeing Vessel
By Theresa Norton Masek
August 20, 2012 1:28 AM
Holland America Line’s Volendam rescued 70 people from a sightseeing vessel that ran aground in Glacier Bay, Alaska, at about 11 a.m. local time Sunday. The 79-foot Baranof Wind reportedly struck a rock and started taking on water, according to a news release from the U.S. Coast Guard, which assisted along with the National Park Service and other “good Samaritans.” There were no serious injuries, according to a report by Reuters news service.
While the Volendam rescued 70 people, two other people were taken aboard a park service boat and four crew members remained aboard the Baranof Wind to maintain pumps to help keep it afloat. The Coast Guard launched a Jayhawk helicopter with a dewatering pump and diverted the Coast Guard Cutter Anacapa to assist. The Coast Guard release said the Baranof Wind reported that the flooding was contained, and an anchor was deployed to help stabilize the vessel. There were no immediate reports of pollution.
The Coast Guard sector in Juneau was sending response personnel to investigate the cause of the grounding and the potential for pollution. That base was working with Allen Marine to develop a towing plan to tow the vessel to Sitka, Alaska. The Volendam will transport the passengers to Bartlett Cove, where they will be transferred to another Allen Marine vessel and returned to Juneau.
“The Coast Guard would like to thank the crew of the Volendam, the National Parks Service personnel, and the other good Samaritans for taking immediate action to aid the passengers and crew of the Baranof Wind,” said Scott Giard, from the Coast Guard sector in Juneau. “Their quick assistance ensured everyone was quickly accounted for and transferred to safety.”