Firefighters in Canada saved nearly 300 people from a stranded cruise ship in a harrowing overnight rescue operation

Mark Matousek
Edmonton Riverboat

Facebook/The Edmonton Riverboat


  • Edmonton Fire Rescue Services rescued nearly 300 people from the Edmonton Riverboat on Saturday after the boat became stuck due to a strong current, the department confirmed to Business Insider.
  • The ship, which was sailing in the North Saskatchewan River, was unable to return to its dock in Alberta due to swift currents moving toward the ship.
  • The rescue operation lasted more than five hours, from around 11:30 p.m. to 5:30 a.m., local time, Edmonton Fire Rescue Services spokeswoman Brittany Lewchuk said.
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Edmonton Fire Rescue Services removed nearly 300 people from the Edmonton Riverboat on Saturday after the boat became stuck due to a strong current, the department confirmed to Business Insider.

The ship, which was sailing in the North Saskatchewan River, was unable to return to its dock in Alberta due to swift currents moving toward the ship.

Starting at around 11:30 p.m., the Edmonton Fire Rescue Services began taking passengers and employees from the boat to shore, the Edmonton Fire Rescue Services spokeswoman Brittany Lewchuk said, adding that three fire rescue boats were sent to the stranded cruise ship. The boats carried between six and 14 people, plus their belongings, at a time.

The rescue operation ended at around 5:30 a.m., local time.

"We are very grateful to Edmonton's Fire and Rescue crews for their assistance," the Edmonton Riverboat spokeswoman Nova Andrews told Business Insider.

Read more: The 10 best large cruise ships for people who love food

There were no reported injuries from the incident, Global News reported.

"We knew we weren't in danger," passenger Laura St. Jean told the publication.

Hayden Wilson, a passenger who was filming an advertisement for Edmonton's tourism department, told CBC that the ship's crew members helped keep passengers calm.

"The crew did a great job of establishing that there is no real danger, we're just fighting the current and can't get past it," Wilson said.

Edmonton Riverboat said Sunday on Facebook that it was canceling a cruise on Monday to give its crew members time off.

"The boat will be back to shore shortly but we've decided to cancel the 4 PM cruise today so the crew can have a rest," the company said.

Have you worked on a cruise ship? Do you have a story to share? Email this reporter at mmatousek@businessinsider.com.

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