- The 4ever Wild reported hitting a rock and taking on water around 12:30 p.m.
- The crew deliberately beached the 60ft catamaran on a small island near Seattle.
- All passengers were safely transferred to lifeboats.
More than 40 people have been rescued from a whale-watching boat that ran aground on a small island Thursday afternoon after taking on water in Puget Sound, Coast Guard officials said.
The crew of the boat, a 60-foot catamaran named 4ever Wild, intentionally washed up on a beach on Smith Islandabout 10 miles northwest of Seattle, the Coast Guard said.
Crews from the Coast Guard, Naval Air Station Whidbey and a Joint Resource Center in Victoria, British Columbia assisted in the rescue.
The Coast Guard said 41 people were removed from the boat, which is registered in Vancouver, B.C., and operated by Eagle Wing Tours. Four crew members remained on board to assist with salvage operations.
The first report of a problem came around 12:30 p.m. PDT. The passengers were on board a Coast Guard boat and another Canadian tour boat at 2 p.m., Coast Guard spokeswoman Amanda Norcross told The Seattle Times.
CTV News Vancouver reported that the boat struck a submerged rock and began to take on water.
The whale-watching tour company dispatched two boats to bring the passengers back to Victoria.