Rock damages Lindblad ship in Panama

By Tom Stieghorst

Lindblad Expeditions said its National Geographic Sea Lion ship hit an uncharted rock near Panama on March 4, forcing it to cancel a cruise.

No one was injured when the ship struck the rock while departing an anchorage about 70 miles from Panama City. The vessel sustained damage to the hull and one propeller, but after clearance from the U.S. Coast Guard, returned to Panama City on its own power, a Lindblad statement said.

The ship was carrying 55 passengers on an eight-day trip exploring the islands of Panama and Costa Rica.

Thirty-nine guests opted to continue the trip by air and land. They received $2,500 refunds. The other guests were flown home with full refunds, including airfare.

The ship will be repaired in Panama City and return to service March 16. The next scheduled cruise from March 9 to 16 has been canceled.

Follow Tom Stieghorst on Twitter @tstravelweekly.

CORRECTION: Passengers stayed with the ship until docking and were not evacuated.

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