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July 16, 2014

Casino boat with 123 people aboard stuck on rocks

TYBEE ISLAND —

A casino boat with 123 people aboard was stuck on rocks off the coast of Georgia on Wednesday, and Coast Guard crews said they were awaiting high tide to potentially remove passengers.

No injuries or medical issues had been reported among the 96 passengers and 27 crew members aboard The Escapade, Coast Guard Petty Officer 3rd Class Anthony L. Soto said.

The 174-foot-long boat was about 1.8 miles off the north end of Tybee Island, a popular beach destination near Savannah, Soto said.

The Coast Guard received reports that the vessel had run aground around midnight Tuesday, Soto said. At 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, Soto said the vessel was stable. By that time, a 25-foot Coast Guard response boat was in the area, a tow company had been contacted and another passenger vessel was on standby in case it's needed to help remove passengers, Soto said.

He said he was not certain of any details of plans to remove those onboard but noted that Coast Guard crews were awaiting high tide, expected early Wednesday afternoon.

Soto said he had no information on the vessel's route or what time it was supposed to complete its trip.

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