An engine fire onboard the Victoria Clipper caused the ship to be diverted to Ballard’s Shilshole Marina Friday night.
“It was a little scary but we’re all OK,” said a passenger.
About 156 passengers were whale watching near Friday Harbor when the captain notified them of the emergency. No one was hurt.
“Everyone was calm they were great,” said Diane Hanson, a passenger.
Everyone aboard was moved to the top deck for their safety while crews put out the fire.
“They had to knock off one engine and come on with the other so it just slowed us down. Captain just said there’s been a small fire no problem, they had to flood the engine room with a fire retardant,” said Hanson.
A heavy response of firefighters, police and customs agents waited for the clipper to reach the marina.
“There’s obviously a manual somewhere saying that this many people need to be here,” said Jalair Box, who came by to watch the excitement.
“We observed a gay hindu wedding before this, so this tops the cake, I don’t know how that could happen, but it did,” she said.
Once all the passengers were off the Clipper, they loaded onto charter buses to go back to their cars.
“Just tell my kids I’m safe,” said a passenger.
Coast Guard investigators interviewed the captain and crew. Depending on their findings, they’ll either take control of the Clipper or release it back to the company.
Service beetween Seattle and San Juan islands has been suspended until Friday.