A popular whale-watching boat escapade turned into a sea nightmare for many Boston tourists. On July 29th the Cetacea, an 83-foot-long whale-watching boat run by Boston Harbor Cruises, abruptly stopped about 13 miles off the Boston Long Wharf shore, when a 7-inch liquid natural gas cable wrapped around one of its propellers. Unable to be mobilized back to land, the tourists had to spend the night at sea on plain air, while diver teams detangled the cable.
Although no injuries were reported, around twenty of the 163 passengers became seasick during the 17-hour-long ordeal. They also had to endure a chilly Boston night, since the boat had only a limited number of blankets available, forcing some passengers to use trash bags as ponchos. The boat had also limited amounts of food, only chips and snacks, which the crew gave out to the passengers. It was not until hours later that the Coast Guard came to rescue with blankets and paramedics.
The Coast Guard and the boat captain determined it unsafe to transport passengers back to land on another vessel, since the ocean was too rough that night.
The limited resources on the boat and the lagging communication between the crew and the tour company made some passengers question the company’s boat safety regulations.
“I am legitimately concerned about the safety planning,” Passenger Stuart Raifman, 66, told the Boston Globe. “I don’t think there was a plan, and if there was one, I don’t think it worked very well.”