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NEW INFORMATION: Company Issues Second Statement Regarding Grounded Boat

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Passengers on board the Tradewinds Casino Cruise Passengers on board the Tradewinds Casino Cruise
Passengers on board the Tradewinds Casino Cruise Passengers on board the Tradewinds Casino Cruise
This is a picture of the ship from the Tradewinds Casino Cruise Facebook page This is a picture of the ship from the Tradewinds Casino Cruise Facebook page
Source: USCG Source: USCG
South Carolina - UPDATE: On Wednesday Tradewinds released a second statement concerning the grounding of The Escapade casino ship, saying they have found no wrongdoing in connection to the incident.

In the statement the company also responds to several claims made by passengers that illegal activity occurred while on board. Tradewinds says they, "respect and abide by the law." They add that during the cruise they served non-alcoholic beverages. They also say that their radar indicated that they were three miles off of shore, so passengers were legally allowed to gamble. The company did say that they did close the casino once the boat was grounded, but they to entertain the passengers they passed out decks of cards.

Tradewinds says they plan to continue business in the Savannah area and, "will continue to strive to be a positive member of the Savannah community."


Read the full statement here.

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Tradewinds has issued a written statement concerning the grounding of The Escapade.

The statement says, 

"Thank you to everyone for your concern for the passengers and crew aboard the Tradewinds Casino Cruise Ship ESCAPADE off of the Savannah coast. Please know that our first concern has been for the safety of our passengers and crew.
We express our gratitude to the U.S. Coast Guard and are happy to report that the ESCAPADE’s passengers were released more than 24 hours ago and NONE of the passengers were sick or injured at that time. The ESCAPADE was more than three nautical miles from any land at the time of the incident, in compliance with all gaming laws and did not have any alcohol as the ship was not yet licensed to provide alcohol. At this point our company and crew are cooperating fully with the Coast Guard and no other agencies are involved. The Captain, Crew and Vessel have returned to the dock safely, we will continue to keep you updated on our schedule.
Thank you,
Tradewinds Savannah"


The boat has been docked at the Bull River Marina in Savannah on Thursday afternoon after being out in the open ocean for almost 36 hours. 

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MORNING UPDATE: the Escapade casino boat that ran aground a rocky sand bar off the coast remains stranded Thursday morning in shallow waters, with another high tide still hours away.

Multiple attempts to tow the boat have failed, so the Coast Guard shuttled the passengers back to the Coast Guard station at Fort Pulaski Wednesday afternoon. They took a charter bus to the boat's dock. 4 people were flown  by helicopter to Fort Pulaski because of inability to climb onto the boat. The Coast Guard says no one was hurt.


Petty Officer 1st Class Lauren Jorgensen told the Associated Press on Wednesday that the initial report from the Escapade's crew was about a malfunction of the chart plotter, part of the navigation system.

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The U.S. Coast Guard tells WSAV that a local casino boat is grounded in Calibogue Sound, South Carolina with 121 people on board.

The Coast Guard says the Tradewinds Casino Cruise boat ran aground just before 1am Wednesday morning with 94 passengers and 27 crew members on board. They say no pollution or injuries have been reported.

A viewer sent us several pictures from inside 'The Escapade' that show passengers wearing life jackets.

The Coast Guard says guardsmen from the Station Tybee Island are on scene aboard a 25-foot response boat, monitoring the situation. A tow company has also been called in to assist with the salvage of the vessel and the removal of passengers. The contracted crews say the are planning to use high tide to assist with transfer efforts. High tide is scheduled for midday on Wednesday.





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