UPDATED with new information from the Coast Guard.
Passengers who left Boston on a three-hour whale watch yesterday afternoon spent the night at sea after an underwater cable got tangled up in their boat's propeller and the ship stopped dead in the water.
The Coast Guard reports Boston Harbor Cruises' Cetacea became stuck about 13 miles east of Nahant. The 83-foot boat had 163 people aboard.
Initial attempts by the divers to clear the line from the propeller were unsuccessful. Original reports indicated a lobster pot line was caught in the propeller, but further analysis revealed it was a cable from Northeast Gateway's offshore facility which required additional dive resources and heavy duty equipment for removal.
Considering the dangers of an at-sea night operation, a passenger transfer was deemed unsafe until morning. Meanwhile, Boston Harbor Cruises provided additional water, food and blankets to the passengers.
The Tybee and Escanaba remained on scene with the Cetacea through the night and Coast Guard medical personnel remained aboard to monitor for possible medical concerns.
The Globe reports the cable was for an LNG offloading area in what is supposed to be off limits to regular boats.
First thing this morning, divers from the cruise company untangled the propeller and the boat made it back to Boston Harbor. The Herald reports passengers will get refunds, plus cash.
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