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Revelers on New Year's Eve cruise stranded off the Clearwater Memorial Causeway

Published Jan. 1, 2012

CLEARWATER — About 100 revelers on a New Year's Eve cruise found themselves stranded in the Intracoastal Waterway when their boat ran aground amid reports of fog, authorities said.

Then the boat sent to rescue them also ran aground Saturday night.

The Pirates Ransom is a 70-foot passenger vessel run by Captain Memo's Pirate Cruise in Clearwater Beach. The passengers paid $50 per adult and $30 per child to celebrate New Year's Eve on the boat, according to the company's website.

But the cruise ended when the boat ran aground south of the Clearwater Memorial Causeway around 7:15 p.m., according to the Coast Guard.

"The captain of the vessel reported that they were hard aground," said Petty Officer Third Class Jon-Paul Rios.

A second boat, the Island Times, was sent out to help evacuate the first one. It took on passengers but also ran aground on its way to shore, authorities said.

Clearwater firefighters said fog may have been a factor in both vessels getting stuck.

The U.S. Coast Guard, Clearwater police and fire departments all sent rescue boats to help with the evacuation, which was reported completed by 10 p.m.

"They're not taking on water," Rios said. "If they were taking on water there would be a much worse scenario."

A 77-year-old woman was checked out for possible injuries by paramedics on land but refused treatment. No serious injuries were reported, Rios said.

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