Spirit of Nantucket Cruise West Grounding Virginia Beach – The Spirit Of Nantucket owned by Cruise West was on a 10-day cruise when it ran aground in the Inter-coastal Waterway near Virginia Beach, Virginia around 0600 hours (6am) November 8, 2007. There were 66 passengers aboard who were from Alexandria, Virginia, to Charleston, South Carolina.
Two 41-foot coast guard vessels moored their ships to sinking 207-foot cruise ship and began transferring passengers and crew.
Meanwhile a coast guard helicopter lowered a rescue swimmer to help pump water out of the ship.
The company website says that Spirit of Nantucket is ideally suited for cruising shallow waterways.
But, early this morning when the ship hit something in the water, began taking on water and sinking, the crew ran the vessel aground to prevent the sinking.
As the ship began taking on water the crew sent out a distress call to the U.S. Coast Guard while the crew tried to pump the water out of the ship.
Coast Guard ships from Portsmouth, Virginia, and Elizabeth City, North Carolina, as well as police and fire units from Virginia Beach, arrived to help the distressed ship.
Passengers were being evacuated into smaller boats with all being reported as safe.