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Grounded Cruise Ship Returns To Port

June 13, 1995

BOSTON (AP) _ Hundreds of relieved passengers hooted and hollered from the decks Monday as a luxury cruise liner that had been stuck on a shoal off Nantucket Island chugged into the harbor.

Some of the 989 people who found themselves stuck on the Royal Majesty for an extra day made light of the inconvenience.

``We had a good time,″ said Gerry Lyons of Braintree. ``They kept on with the food and drinks, open bar.″

Others felt differently.

``I lost a day’s pay and I have to pay a sitter an extra day _ and the sitter had plans,″ said Nancy Licht of Hampden.

Coast Guard and cruise line officials promised an investigation, beginning with drug and alcohol tests for six of the 520 crew members, including three who were on the bridge at the time of the grounding.

Coast Guard Lt. Barney Turlo said one instrument in the ship’s global positioning system was not working, but would not say for certain whether that contributed to the accident.

The 600-foot Royal Majesty’s troubles began Saturday night when it strayed 15 miles from marked shipping lanes and plowed, bow first, onto the sandy Rose and Crown Shoal 10 miles east of Nantucket.

None of the passengers were hurt and there was only minor damage to the ship. But it took until Sunday night to free the ship, and plans to ferry passengers to shore in smaller boats fell through when the weather worsened.