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One Wedding, Three Honeymoons Delayed by Stuck Ship

June 12, 1995

BOSTON (AP) _ Todd and Lisa Green made it to the church on time _ it was their honeymoon ship that didn’t show up.

The 600-foot Royal Majesty, hung up for more than 24 hours on a sandy shoal off Nantucket Island, was finally freed by a high tide and six straining tugboats.

The ship and its 959 passengers, returning from a cruise to Bermuda, were idling in deeper water this morning. Officials planned to check the hull for damage before it returns to port, Coast Guard Petty Officer Zach Zubricki said.

Majesty Cruise Line tried to notify the more than 1,000 passengers who were booked on Sunday’s departure that the ship would not be leaving until Monday afternoon at the earliest. About 200 people didn’t get the word.

``It’s a rough start to a honeymoon, but we’ll be all right,″ said Todd Green, after the couple showed up at the terminal Sunday.

In all, at least three honeymoons and a wedding got knocked off course when the luxury liner foundered late Saturday.

Among them were Carl and Lynn Wehrfritz of Mount Desert, Maine, just married and ready for a honeymoon cruise to Bermuda.

``I expected to fall down the aisle, but I didn’t expect the boat not to show up,″ Lynn Wehrfritz told the Boston Herald.

Carl Wehrfritz said the taxi driver tried to tell them the ship was not at the dock, saying, ``No boat. No boat.″

The Royal Majesty ran aground 10 miles east of Nantucket Island, while heading back to Boston with nearly 1,500 people aboard, including crewmembers.

While the ship was stuck, strong currents, rain and high seas delayed early efforts to evacuate passengers onto ferries.

No one was injured, and the ship’s hull was not ruptured, said the Coast Guard and the ship’s owner, Majesty Cruise Line.

The Coast Guard was investigating how the ship ran aground.

``Sometimes these (shoals) develop after charts are plotted out,″ said Coast Guard spokeswoman Phyllis Kay.

The ship ran aground five years to the day after another cruise ship, the Bermuda Star, foundered on rocks in the same area. The Queen Elizabeth 2 damaged its hull when it hit another rocky shoal nearby in 1992.

James and Joan Lang of Billerica, Mass., booked a spot on this week’s cruise _ their first ever _ to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary.

``We were just out having lunch and a good cry,″ James Lang said Sunday. ``It’s a letdown (but) it’s kind of funny, really.″

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