Coast Guard removes passengers from stranded casino boat
SAVANNAH, Ga. — After more than 12 hours, passengers stranded on a casino boat that ran aground off Georgia’s coast were moving to a Coast Guard cutter Wednesday afternoon, eventually headed to shore.
The Escapade, on its maiden trip from Savannah, was supposed to return about 12:30 a.m. Attempts to tow the boat failed when the tow lines broke, so those aboard were transferred first to small boats that hold about eight people, then to a larger vessel, the cutter Maria Bray, Petty Officer 1st Class Lauren Jorgensen said.
Most of the 96 passengers — onboard with 27 crew members — were on the cutter as of about 3 p.m., Jorgensen said.
Waiting at the casino boat’s dock in Savannah, Tara Sinclair got a call from her 66-year-old mother shortly after 2 p.m. Wednesday. Veronica Heyward told her daughter she was safely aboard the cutter after being stranded on the casino boat for more than 12 hours.
“She said they had to jump from the big boat to the little boat and then climb a rope ladder” onto the cutter, Sinclair said. “She called it a Fear Factor moment.”
Overnight, the passengers — wearing life vests — were growing annoyed, though no injuries were reported, according to the Coast Guard and family members awaiting the passengers’ return.
Kia Murray’s fiancee called her from the ship about 1 p.m. — 13 hours after the ship ran aground.
“He just said everybody had been getting a little irritated from being out there overnight,” said Murray, of Savannah. “But they’re keeping them calm. … He said they’re giving them food and water.”
The 174-foot-long Escapade was about 1.8 miles off the north end of Tybee Island, a popular beach destination east of Savannah, in the Calibogue Sound near Hilton Head, South Carolina, the Coast Guard said. Photo and Video on www.reviewjournal...
(6 days ago, by arnekiel
United States of America
N 31° 60' W 080°58'