Blackjack Players Stranded At Sea
Jul 17, 2014
Floating casino hits the rocks instead of hitting the jackpot as The Escapade runs aground off Georgia’s coast.
Blackjack often comes down to a choice between stand and hit, but the players employing smart strategies at the tables of The Escapade, a floating casino, found themselves having to decide between sink and swim instead as their 174 foot long gaming haven ran aground on its maiden voyage some 1.8 miles off the coast of Savannah, Georgia.
The ship, carrying 96 passengers and 27 crew, ran aground around midnight having departed the city of Savannah at 7pm so players could attempt some winning at blackjack. Unfortunately their night of wild wagering ended with the coast guard attempting, and failing, to pull the 53-meter boat free as the cables broke leaving those aboard stuck.
Whatever Floats Your Boat
• 53-meter casino all at sea
• Coast Guard rescues passengers
• 5 hour cruise lasted all night
With the area it ran aground too shallow for Coast Guard vessels to pull alongside the eventual evacuation of passengers involved some interesting cross-decking with players required to jump into smaller boats and be transferred to the Coast Guard cutter up a rope ladder in what one lady described as a “Fear Factor moment”.
Stuck overnight on the high seas the crew kept passengers fed, entertained and in lifejackets with none of them in any serious danger as the boat was considered in a stable, if immobile, condition. Most players kept their spirits high (always a good blackjack strategy) and there were no reports of panic or undue alarm despite not being told of the 9:30pm impact until after midnight.
The cause of the accident is still under investigation with initial reports pointing to a malfunction of the navigational systems onboard as being responsible for turning a 5 hour cruise into an overnight affair. Authorities report the vessel is not a danger to other shipping in the area and is causing no pollution to the local environment.