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Captain suspended without pay after Boston Harbor grounding

The captain of a cruise ship that ran aground in Boston Harbor on Saturday night during a wedding reception on board has been suspended, Boston Harbor Cruises said Tuesday.

“At this time, the Captain has been suspended without pay pending the findings of both the Coast Guard and our internal investigations,” Alison Nolan, principal of the company, said in a statement. Nolan said the company, after “an initial review,” anticipated that operator error would be found to blame for the grounding.

The Coast Guard said Tuesday that its investigation had not reached any conclusions.

“We’re not going to sacrifice accuracy for speed,” Petty Officer Andrew Barresi said in an interview. “The main thing is just looking at all the different aspects of what happened.”


The vessel ran aground near Georges Island shortly before 7 p.m. Saturday. All 137 passengers had to be rescued. The Coast Guard, the state Environmental Police, and the Boston Fire Department responded to help transfer passengers to another cruise ship.

Nolan said Tuesday that the captain, who had 27 years of experience, was given drug and alcohol testing on Saturday evening, as is standard procedure.

“Boston Harbor Cruises will conduct an internal investigation into the incident in addition to participating fully with the Coast Guard investigation. After initial review, we anticipate that the findings will prove to be operator navigational error,” Nolan said.

Martin Finucane can be reached at martin.finucane@globe.com. Andy Rosen can be reached atandrew.rosen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @andyrosen.