Cruise Ship Rescues 70 from Stricken Alaska Tour Boat

August 21, 2012

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(Update: 10.09 a.m. EDT) -- A Holland America Line cruise ship came to the rescue of a sightseeing ship that hit rocks in Alaska on Sunday.

The 60,890-ton, 1,440-passenger ms Volendam picked up 70 passengers from the 79-ft sightseeing vessel Baranof Wind, which ran aground in Glacier Bay.
None of the passengers were seriously hurt, though reports state that two were treated for minor injuries.

The ship lowered a tender which collected 69 tourists and one Glacier Bay park ranger and returned to Volendam, where the passengers were cleared through security, given a safety briefing and then a meal. Volendam continued on to Margerie Glacier following the rescue.

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A Coast Guard cutter ship and helicopter also were dispatched to the scene.
Four crew members from the stricken vessel stayed onboard to pump water out of the boat with the Coast Guard crew.

The passengers are believed to have been on an eight-hour cruise aboard the high-speed catamaran which can accommodate up to 149 people.

“It's the code of the sea to provide assistance in an emergency, and Captain Peter Bos and his crew responded quickly and professionally to render aid to the passengers of Baranof Wind,” said Stein Kruse, president and CEO of Holland America Line. “We are proud of our officers and crew, and this is shining example of how our training prepares us to react to any situation.”

His words were echoed by Cruise Critic members, who posted a number of congratulatory messages to Captain Peter Bos and his crew on our message boards.
One member, MightyQuinn, wrote: "Kudos to Volendam Captain, officers and crew who played a primary role in the rescue of passengers of a small vessel that hit a rock at Glacier Bay. HAL rocks!"

The Volendam is on a seven-night round trip from Vancouver calling at Tracy Arm, Alaska, Juneau, Skagway, Glacier Bay and Ketchikan, where it is today.

Glacier Bay, at the northern end of southeastern Alaska's Inside Passage, is a major tourist destination known for its spectacular scenery and marine life.

--by Adam Coulter, U.K. Editor

--Photos appear courtesy of Holland America Line