BOSTON (CBS) – Dozens of sleepy passengers waved from the deck of a whale watch boat that returned to Boston Harbor Tuesday morning, after a night stuck at sea.

The 157 passengers and six crew members set out for a three-hour whale watch early Monday afternoon. As they were heading home, one of the boat’s propellers became entangled in ropes.

“It was not what we expected when we set out to go see the whales, but the crew were really good,” a passenger told WBZ-TV’s Bill Shields.

Passengers from a stranded whale watch boat return to dry land after spending the night at sea. (WBZ-TV)

Passengers from a stranded whale watch boat return to dry land after spending the night at sea. (WBZ-TV)

Boston Harbor Cruises hired a crew to come free the ship, but those efforts were unsuccessful Monday evening. The Coast Guard determined the seas were too rough to offload to everybody to another boat. That’s when passengers learned they would be spending the night about 16 miles off the coast of Nahant.

“Leaving them on the vessel was actually safer for them than transferring them from one large ship to another larger ship, in the middle of the night and with the sea state as it was,” said Coast Guard Lt. Karen Kutkiewicz.

“I thought it was fun,” 8-year-old Colet told WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens Tuesday morning. “We were out on a boat and we got stuck out there. We had to sleep overnight and we got to see divers go down.”

Medics were brought aboard in case anybody needed medical attention, and the Coast Guard stationed two boats nearby to bring food, water and blankets to the passengers.

A team of divers arrived early Tuesday morning and was able to cut the boat free. The boat was inspected for damage and returned to port using just one propeller.

Passengers are being compensated by Boston Harbor Cruises with $500, a $100 gift certificate, and a refund of their tickets for Monday’s memorable voyage.


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