ANACORTES – The Everett High School choir’s annual whale-watching cruise was interrupted when the vessel they were on ran aground near the north end of Whidbey Island.
Seven of 52 people aboard the boat suffered minor injuries when the boat ran aground about 8 p.m. Thursday near Deception Pass State Park, Coast Guard Petty Officer David Marin said.
The hull was damaged and water gushed into two compartments, but pumps were used to control the flooding and the crew managed to get the small cruise vessel to nearby Anacortes under its own power, he said.
All 52 people aboard disembarked and seven passengers were taken to Island Hospital, where they were checked, treated for minor injuries and released, nursing director Lois Pate said.
It’s unclear how many passengers were with the high school choir, Everett School District spokeswoman Mary Waggoner said. Two Everett High School teachers were supervising the trip, she said.
The students didn’t get home until early Friday, Waggoner said.
The Island Explorer II is owned by Island Adventures Inc. of Anacortes and is certified by the Coast Guard to carry 102 passengers, although trips are generally limited “to about 80 for comfort and quality,” according to the company’s Web site.
There was no indication of any release of oil or other pollutants. The Coast Guard is investigating.
Reporter Scott Pesznecker: 425-339-3436 or firstname.lastname@example.org.