A wildlife viewing tour operator in Southeast Alaska had 7 boats in Sitka and Juneau taken out of operation on Wednesday after Coast Guard inspections.
Sitka-based Allen Marine Tours operates scenic and wildlife-viewing tours in and around Juneau, Ketchikan and Sitka.
Chief Petty Officer Matthew Schofield, spokesperson for Coast Guard District 17, deferred most questions to Allen Marine.
But he did confirm inspectors found multiple issues.
The Coast Guard inspected 10 Allen Marine vessels. In a press release, the agency wrote that they found violations ranging from “material condition to crew familiarity” that need to be corrected before the boats can sail again. Six of the boats that weren’t allowed to sail are based in Juneau and one in Sitka.
Schofield said the company is fixing the problems, but couldn’t give a timeline for when the boats can resume tours.
The company sent a statement saying that the Coast Guard found crew training issues.
Company spokesperson Zakary Kirkpatrick wrote in an email that the inspections “identified a few items for improvement on select vessels. This resulted in the inability for us to operate scheduled tours aboard those vessels.”
Kirkpatrick wrote that they have always worked with the Coast Guard to ensure compliance and passenger safety and that they’ve safely carried more than 1 million guests on tours of Southeast Alaska.
Kirkpatrick said most of the guests scheduled for tours Wednesday were able to be re-booked on other Allen Marine vessels.