Source AP ©

U.S. cruise ship runs aground southwest of Juneau, Alaska

More that 200 passengers were being transferred to life boats and other vessels after a cruise ship ran aground off Alaska coast on Monday, U.S. Coast Guard officials said.

There were no immediate reports of injuries.

The 299-foot (91-meter) Empress of the North, carrying 281 people, was listing by about 6 degrees after hitting Hanus Rock at the southern end of the Icy Strait southwest of Juneau, said Petty Officer Christopher D. McLaughlin at the Coast Guard base in Kodiak.

A Coast Guard fixed-wing aircraft and helicopter were dispatched after an emergency radio message was received at 12:35 a.m. (0435 GMT) from the ship, operated by Majestic America Line of Seattle, McLaughlin said.

McLaughlin said the reason for the grounding was unclear, but he said the ship was not believed to be taking on water.

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