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M/V LeConte Runs Aground, All Passengers Safe
Flooding stopped, USCG & NOAA respond


May 10, 2004

Juneau, AK - An extensive response was underway this morning after the Alaska Marine Highway System ferry LeConte reportedly struck rocks, grounded and took on water about 30 miles north of Sitka in Peril Strait near Cozian Reef.

According to the Alaska Department of Transportation, the M/V Leconte ran hard aground at approximately 9:55 am. The LeConte was enroute from Angoon to Sitka at the time of the incident. Two forward spaces on the port side flooded and the ship was reported to be listing at 10 degrees.

Coast Guard helicopter crews from Sitka, along with the Cutters Maple and Anacapa, responded to assist the 86 passengers and 24 crew members aboard the 235-foot long ferry. The AK DOT reported that all 86 passengers were safely deployed to life rafts and are accounted for without injuries. NOAA's ship, John Cobb, picked up most of the passengers. Those remaining were picked up by a Good Samaritan ship. Passengers were transported to Sitka. The AK DOT said two boats from Allen Marine should have arrived at Cozian Reef around 12:30 pm to assist the damaged vessel. All 24 crew members are still aboard according to the AK DOT.

The port side side waste hold and bow thruster flooded; however, the AK DOT said there was no spillage to report and the USCG reported there was no evidence of pollution in the water. The Transportation Department said divers and a salvage team were to patch the hull and help guide the ship off the reef when the tide comes up at 1:45 this afternoon.

The LeConte was built in 1974 and is capable of carrying 250 passengers. The vessel is 235' in length and can accommodate up to 34 vehicles. There has not yet been a report regarding the condition of the vehicles aboard the LeConte.

No further information is available at this time regarding the grounding incident.



Sources of News:

Alaska Department of Transportation
Web Site

United States Coast Guard
Web Site



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