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Pirate-Themed Cruise Ship Runs Aground in Florida

A Pirate-themed cruise ship carrying about 100 passengers ran aground in heavy fog on New Year's Eve, but no one was apparently injured.

Public safety officials in Clearwater said late Saturday that crews responded at the Memorial Causeway Bridge when the cruise ship, the Pirate's Ransom, ran aground in the Intracoastal Waterway. A second vessel, Island Times, attempted to take some of the passengers to shore but it also ran aground. Police and fireboats were taking passengers to shore late Saturday night.

A city press release says a 77-year-old woman was examined at the scene but refused treatment. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

Built in 1993, the Pirate's Ransom is a 70-foot-long vessel that can carry 125 passengers, according to the web site of its operator, Captain Memo's Pirate Cruise.

The web site says passengers paid $50 per adult and $30 per child to celebrate New Year's Eve on the vessel.

"Get lost in the pirate antics of treasure hunts, face painting, water gun games, stories and dancing for all," the web site says.

Authorities said fog is believed to have been a factor in the ships running aground. Clearwater is located about 30 miles north of St. Petersburg, on the Gulf coast.

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