Stranded Whale-Watching Boat Returns to Boston

A whale-watching boat from Boston Harbor Cruises is back in Boston after it was stranded 15 miles off of Salem on Monday when its propeller became entangled in a lobster trap, leaving 157 passengers and six members stuck on board overnight.

WCVB’s Todd Kazakiewich reported that the Boston Harbor Cruises Cetacea was cleared and checked early this morning before the ship began its journey back to harbor. The boat arrived back in Boston at approximately 7:30 a.m., roughly 15 hours after its expected return time of 4:30 p.m. on Monday.

According to a passenger on board who spoke to the Associated Press, the Cetacea had actually already started its return voyage when it stopped about 10 minutes into the trip after “apparently hitting something.” The coast guard eventually determined that the propeller had become entangled in a lobster trap, but attempts to cut the propeller loose were unsuccessful. The AP report added that attempts to transfer the passengers and crew to a separate ship also didn’t pan out, according to Coast Guard Petty Officer MyeongHi Clegg.

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That means that 163 people were left to spend the night on the water while three Coast Guard boats remained alongside the ship for security and medical personnel stood by for anyone in need of treatment. Fox 25’s Jessica Reyes reported that while temperatures dropped significantly overnight, passengers were provided with food, water, and blankets.

One passenger tweeted a series of pictures from the ship as their time on board surpassed the 10-hour mark.

No injuries were reported, but Ken Maguire, a passenger who was on the whale watch with his wife and two daughters, says many passengers became seasick during the long wait.

This morning, according to Reyes’s Twitter account, divers with special equipment made their way out to the Cetacea to free the propeller, and just before 6 a.m., she reported that the ship had been freed.

The Associated Press reported that passengers were told they would get refunds and other assistance.

Reyes also reported that Tuesday’s whale watching cruises are “expected to go out as scheduled.”