Passengers Safe, Ship Returning
by Associated Press
The Coast Guard says all passengers have been evacuated from the cruise ship Empress of the North, which ran aground off Alaska's coast this morning.
Chief Petty Officer Barry Lane says the ship is on its way back to Juneau. A spokesman for the ship's operator, Majestic America, says it's under its own power and accompanied by a Coast Guard escort.
The 360-foot sternwheeler-style cruise ship ran aground early this morning, but Majestic America says about 223 passengers were able to walk to other ships that pulled alongside. Arrangements are being made to get the passengers home.
There were no injuries and the cause of the grounding is under investigation.
The Coast Guard dispatched a cutter, plane and helicopter to the scene.
The ship also does cruises on the Columbia and Snake rivers out of Portland, Oregon.
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