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Bruno Krause 05-14-2007 08:23 AM

Empress of the North in Trouble
It's being reported on MSNBC as breaking news that the Empress has run aground in Alaska very early this morning and passengers are now being evacuated. The news brief states the boat is listing but there is no word on what damage the boat sustained. It sounds like the boat struck submerged rocks. No passengers were injured...

Pat Traynor 05-14-2007 08:30 AM

CNN reports that she's sinking, but that may just be media hype -

Carmen 05-14-2007 08:50 AM

Read here




Carmen 05-14-2007 09:08 AM

And some more



And read


According to the post there the Empress of the Seas is already sinking :-).


Carmen 05-14-2007 09:12 AM

One more



Carmen 05-14-2007 09:15 AM

And here´s the original AP story



Bruno Krause 05-14-2007 09:22 AM

Just watched a video interview on MSNBC, a telephone interview with a Coast Guard officier at the scene. According to the Coast Guard the abandon ship order has been given and passengers and crew are in the process of being evacuated. The boat IS taking on water and the list has increased to what was reported as 8 degrees.

Doesn't sound too good...

Bob Reynolds 05-14-2007 09:24 AM

On this board, we have a wealth of expertise the on Mississippi River system and navigation here, etc. Does anyone on this board know anything about the waters of Alaska and the Columbia? This is not the first grounding of one of these vessels. Are the channels well marked in these waters? I know first-class pilotage is no longer required, but do they have posted pilots there, as they do (or should) in the Mississippi System waters? Do the channels shift out there? Are they using autopilot? Whilethe boats can and sometimes do run aground on the Miss. System, it seems it is usually with less damage and consequence. Please enlighten us, if anyone knows!

David Dewey 05-14-2007 09:30 AM

Bay area news reported, "In the process of sinking" and mentioned first priority is taking care of the passengers, then mitigating any enviromental damage the sinking might cause. Majestic was mentioned as the owner too!
Hmm, maybe having your name plastered on your boats isn't a good idea? This was at 6:31 am.
David D.

R. Dale Flick 05-14-2007 10:01 AM

Steamboating colleagues:
Just got wind of the EMPRESS OF THE NORTH 'situation' off Juneau in Alaska. Thanks to Carmen for the 'links' provided here. I'm no 'expert' in any way, shape or fashion but have spent 30 days on various passenger ships in Alaskan waters in past years. Yes, Bob, the ships do have extra pilots brought in for navigation of the channels and sounds in those waters. Instruments are used with crew posted on bows, stern to observe over the side, ahead and astern. In the glacial fjords even the local authorities along with the U.S. National Park Service post people to observe the ships, give presentations to passengers and survey for possible environmental issues. Lots of rocks, bars etc., but don't know about the 'shifting' conditions as we experience on our rivers here. It was interesting watching/listening to the local pilots pacing from one side of the ship's bridge to the other watching and singing out compas settings to the quarter master at the helm. The ships turn and maneuver constantly in the narrower channels.

My concern, though, is for the high rise and fall of the tides in those regions. Extreme reaches of the northern/southern hemispheres are subject to high tides similar to the Bay of Fundy--expecially where the channels and inlets shallow out or narrow at the head. The maritime climate there is subject to much rain, mist and fog. The Gulf of Alaska is one of the roughest stretches of water to steam on and I've been down more than once with mal de mere.

I will watch the news closely and wish the EMPRESS all the best in my prayers.

R. Dale Flick

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