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Contact: Wendy Bredow
Contact: Tom VandenBerg, 907-697-2619
GLACIER BAY NATIONAL PARK-Alaska. The Holland America cruise ship Noordam provided assistance to 40 passengers from a tour vessel experiencing mechanical problems in Glacier Bay, Wednesday.
On Wednesday afternoon, June 10th, Glacier Bay National Park headquarters received word that the 79-foot daily sightseeing vessel Baranof Wind had suffered a fire in the starboard engine room while transiting through the remote upper reaches of Glacier Bay. The crew of the Baranof Wind were able to extinguish the fire and called for assistance. The Holland America cruise ship Noordam was nearby and Captain Van Donselaar and crew quickly responded to the call. Using a tender, the ship collected all 40 passengers and one interpretive ranger from the tourboat and loaded them safely onto the Noordam. By 5:30 PM the ship arrived near Bartlett Cove where the day passengers were safely off-loaded to the public dock. The Noordam continued to Ketchikan where it arrived on June 11.
The Baranof Wind proceeded to Juneau under the power of its remaining engine and with tow assistance from the tour vessel St. Peter. Repairs and further assessments are currently underway in Juneau. The tour vessel St. Philip arrived in Bartlett Cove to provide subsequent day tours of the bay.
"I want to express deep appreciation to Captain Van Donselaar and crew of the Noordam for providing such timely assistance and ensuring the health and safety of our visitors" said Glacier Bay Acting Superintendent Sheri Barry. Additionally, several Glacier Bay employees provided assistance throughout the incident. "Our staff who were either on site or were providing assistance remotely did so in a very timely, professional manner" Barry said; "Considering the logistics and potential issues, the incident was managed well through superb coordination with all involved."
The Baranof Wind provides full-day excursions daily during the summer for a 7-hour, 130-mile sightseeing journey through Glacier Bay. The 79-foot catamaran has a passenger capacity of 149.
The1,900-passenger Noordam was on the 2nd day of a 5-day Alaska voyage from Skagway, Alaska to Vancouver, British Columbia at the time of the assist.