Iceberg Collision Injures Cruise Ship Passengers Portage Lake Alaska – On June 6, 2008, about 1600 hours local time, the tour boat MV Ptarmigan struck an iceberg in Portage Lake, Alaska (see video below). There are ten reported passenger injuries. Two passengers were thrown to the deck, at least one hitting their head on the railing while falling.
Initial reports say the passengers were on a cruise exploring the glacier surrounded lake, when one passengers spotted some wildlife and pointed it out. The captain is said to have swung the vessel around so that all the passengers aboard could see what was reported to be a bear. As the captain swung the vessel around, it collided with an iceberg, jolting the passengers aboard.
The collision apparently did not significantly damage the MV Ptarmigan, operated by Portage Glacier Tours.
Alaska State Troopers along with medical personnel from Girdwood were still en route to the scene and the United States Coast Guard was called to investigate.
Portage Lake is 50 miles south of Anchorage. The MV Ptarmigan offers hour-long cruises, with narration from the US Forest Service. The cruise is said to come within 300 feet (obviously much closer on this particular cruise) of the wall of ice called Portage Glacier. Portage Glacier is a popular tourist side trip.
This is the second incident with a vessel taking passengers to see the glaciers in Alaska, in the past week. The Spirit Of Alaska was involved in the grounding on an iceberg.
Video:Portage Glacier Cruise – Gray Line of Alaska