KUGAARUK, Nunavut – A passenger ship that ran aground Friday morning in the Far North has been refloated.
Andrea Beaubien, a spokeswoman for the One Ocean Expeditions tour company, said Saturday morning that the Akademik Ioffe had “come afloat” and that all its passengers were safe and being cared for.
Beaubien had no immediate information about whether the ship sustained any damage when it became grounded in the western Gulf of Boothia near Kugaaruk, Nunavut.
A pair of Canadian Coast Guard icebreakers had been headed to the area to offer assistance, and One Ocean Expeditions said in a media release Friday evening that the Akademik Ioffe’s sister ship, the Akademik Sergey Vavilov, was providing support and assistance.
One Ocean Expeditions also said there had been no report of any environmental concerns.
The tour company, which has a mailing address in Squamish, B.C., said the captain had reported the incident to the relevant federal and territorial agencies.
“We regret the inconvenience to our passengers and are working closely with the captain, ship owner and all relevant agencies to resolve the situation as quickly and safely as possible,” Catherine Lawton, general manager of One Ocean Expeditions, said in the statement.
On its website, the tour operator describes the 117-metre Akademik Ioffe as a “modern, comfortable, safe and ice-strengthened” vessel that can host 96 passengers and 65 staff and crew.
The company says its three vessels were purpose-built to conduct sensitive hydro-acoustic research and science in the polar regions.