Spirit of Nantucket Runs Aground; Passengers Evacuated
Cruise West's Spirit of Nantucket, which last week hit a submerged object while cruising in Virginia, has been re-floated, according to reports by the Associated Press. It's now on its way to a shipyard in Norfolk.
As we reported last week, 66 passengers were evacuated when the ship's captain intentionally ran Spirit of Nantucket aground off Virginia Beach. The ship had struck something in the Intercoastal Waterway and had begun to take on water. All crew and passengers were safely evacuated Friday with no reported injuries and transported to a local hotel.
U.S. Coast Guard investigators found that the debris was not visible above the water line -- and shouldn't have been there in the first place. Indeed, according to news reports, a company hired to remove the mysterious objects found what looked like parts of an old wooden barge. The debris was craned out of the water and taken away -- and the Army Corps of Engineers performed a side-scan sonar check of the area to ensure the waterway was free and clear.
A Cruise West spokeswoman told Cruise Critic today that she anticipated having more information on both the ship's repair and future schedules on Monday. Stay tuned.
--By Carolyn Spencer Brown, Editor