A Victoria whale watching boat is under tow en route to Sidney, B.C. after it hit a submerged rock in U.S. waters Thursday.
Around 12:35 p.m. Thursday, the Eagle Wing whale watching vessel 4Ever Wild ran into a submerged rock near Smith Island, in U.S. waters off the Washington coast.
The vessel sustained damage and began to take on water. As a precautionary measure, the captain beached the vessel on the shore of Smith Island, according to Eagle Wing Tours.
In response to a call for help, Seattle Search and Rescue ran the rescue that involved U.S. and Canadian Coast Guard vessels and other boats that were in the area.
The 45 people who were on board the Eagle Wing whale watching boat were assisted onto three rescue boats. All passengers returned safely to Victoria with no serious injuries reported.
Salvage and recovery crews headed to the scene Thursday night to assess the vessel with marine authorities. After environmental and safety assessments were complete, the vessel was found to be safe for towing and is currently en route to Sidney for further assessment and repair.
Eagle Wing Tours will run a reduced tour schedule Friday with a return to the regular schedule Saturday.
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