Passengers aboard the Eagle Wing Tours vessel '4Ever Wild' are loaded in groups onto smaller rescue boats in U.S. waters. The 60-foot catamaran took on water after it came in contact with a submerged rock near Smith Island. Photo courtesy King 5 News Seattle.

Passengers aboard the Eagle Wing Tours vessel ‘4Ever Wild’ are loaded in groups onto smaller rescue boats in U.S. waters. The 60-foot catamaran took on water after it came in contact with a submerged rock near Smith Island. Photo courtesy King 5 News Seattle.

A Victoria-based whale watching company says a damaged vessel that was taking on water after hitting a submerged rock Thursday is headed to Sidney for repairs.

Eagle Wing Tours says the 60-foot catamaran called “4Ever Wild” hit the rock near Smith Island around 12:35 p.m., with some 45 passengers on board.

As a precautionary measure, the company says the boat’s Captain to beach the vessel on the shore and wait for help to arrive.

U.S. and Canadian Coast Guard vessels, along with Washington Fish and Wildlife Police, civilian boaters and air support responded.

Passengers were assisted onto three rescue boats before being transported to Victoria.

Eagle Wing says all passengers are accounted for an there are no serious injuries.

The company said in a statement Friday morning that salvage and recovery crews were sent Thursday night for environmental and safety assessments of the vessel, along with marine authorities.

The company says its tour slate is reduced Friday morning but will be back to a regular schedule Saturday.

CHEK News