More than 120 people were aboard the casino boat, which ran aground on rocks off the coast of Georgia on its maiden trip.
The passengers and crew members were stranded for hours before the Coast Guard arrived to help them. Luckily, there were no injuries or medical issues. According to the latest gambling news, the 174-foot-long casino ship was about 1.8 miles off the north end of Tybee Island, a popular beach destination located close to the Georgia-South Carolina line.
The boat, called the Escapade, is operated by Tradewinds Casino Cruise, a company based in Florida. After meeting all the requirements set by American gambling laws, the firm was issued a permit to begin its day cruises at the end of April and this was its first voyage.
The three-story ship can carry up to 500 passengers and it offers slot machines, poker and blackjack tables, as well as a roulette wheel.
Passengers are safe
The Coast Guard had to wait for high tide before removing those onboard, but passengers were not in any danger. According to Coast Guard Petty Officer First Class Lauren Jorgensen, they were wearing life vests as a precaution.
“My understanding is the ship has generators to provide power,” Jorgensen told reporters. “The area is too shallow for our boats to come alongside so we do not actually have personnel on board. They can see the vessel, they just can’t get on scene.”
There was no mention of any police investigations related to the Escapade gambling boat.