Whale-watching boat back on duty

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The Coast Guard is investigating the incident, interviewing all parties and examining ship logs, navigational charts, and other records.

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.

The Coast Guard is looking into what caused a Boston whale-watching boat to venture into restricted waters, where it ran into the trouble, the Boston Globe reported yesterday. Coast Guard investigators are interviewing all parties and examining ship logs, navigational charts, and other records.

WCVB’s Todd Kazakiewich reported on Twitter Monday that the 83-foot 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. Tuesday, roughly 17 hours after its journey began

A passenger on board told 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.

Ken Maguire, who was with his wife and two daughters, ages 6 and 9, spent a sleepless night on the vessel in choppy seas.

‘‘It was kind of like being on the tarmac on a plane, and it’s not taking off and you are waiting and waiting, except the plane is rocking back and forth,’’said Maguire, who lives in Falls Church, Virginia.

The whale watch, one of the most popular summer tourist attractions in the Boston area, came to an abrupt stop about 13 miles offshore Monday afternoon after one of the propellers became entangled with a cable in the Northeast Gateway Deepwater Port, the Coast Guard said. The facility handles large liquefied natural gas tankers entering Massachusetts Bay.

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