May day call made after tourist cruise ship runs aground in Fiordland

Doubtful Sound (file image)
Doubtful Sound (file image) Photo credit: Newshub

Emergency services received a distress call from a Fiordland tourist cruise ship after it ran aground.

The RealNZ-operated Fiordland Navigator ran aground near Crooked Arm in Doubtful Sound shortly after 6pm on Wednesday.

Acting chief executive Paul Norris said there were 57 guests and 10 crew on board.

A minor injury was checked by medical staff.

Norris said the captain notified the company, and a mayday call was made, notifying emergency services.

The company's focus was on supporting their guests and crew, who returned to Te Anau safely, Norris said.

It was not the first time a RealNZ-operated vessel had crashed.

In October 2018, one of its boats carrying 39 seal watching tourists crashed into a rock while in Milford Sound.

The vessel was making a routine approach towards the shoreline to observe seals when the collision occurred.

Two passengers sustained minor injuries when they lost their balance.

The boat received superficial damage and was taken out of service for a full check.

In January 2009, Stuff reported a boat, with 25 passengers on board, grazed a rock wall near the Overhang in Milford Sound.

The vessel was travelling slow so passengers could look at something when the incident occurred.

The bowsprit was bent as a result and the boat had to be moored for repairs, Stuff reported.