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Cruise Ship Evacuated After Striking Rock

July 28, 1999| From Associated Press

JUNEAU, Alaska — More than 90 passengers were rescued from a small cruise ship after it struck a rock Tuesday in a coastal inlet and began taking on water.

No injuries were reported.

The 192-foot Spirit of '98 was about 100 yards from shore in Alaska's Inside Passage--a long, narrow stretch of water that offers spectacular views of glaciers, fiords, mountains and wildlife--when it radioed a mayday call at 9:06 a.m., reporting that water leakage into the vessel was "out of control."

All 93 passengers were transferred to another tourist boat. Nine of the 27 crew members stayed behind to try to save the ship and reported by early afternoon that they were having success in pumping the water out.

"They've got it under control," Coast Guard spokesman Roger Wetherell said, adding that the crew members were in no danger. Two helicopters dropped pumps to help deal with the flooding, and the Coast Guard sent a cutter to the scene, Wetherell said.

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