Coast Guard suspends part of tour company boat fleet

    Juneau, Alaska (AP) - Most boats from a southeast Alaska tour company that were inspected this week in Juneau and Sitka have been taken out of service for corrective action.

    The U.S. Coast Guard suspended seven of 10 boats operated by Allen Marine Tours, Alaska's Energy Desk reported.

    The company provides scenic and wildlife-viewing tours in and around Juneau, Ketchikan and Sitka. The company's fleet of more than 50 vessels includes 37 stationed in Juneau or Sitka during the time of the inspections on Wednesday, spokesman Zakary Kirkpatrick said in an email to The Associated Press on Friday.

    The inspection identified violations ranging from "material condition to crew familiarity," the Coast Guard said in a statement.

    The boats with violations were taken out of service and the problems need to be corrected before the vessels can resume operations, the Coast Guard said.

    The company is fixing the problems, but a timeline for the resumption of the boat tours is uncertain, said Chief Petty Officer Matthew Schofield.

    "The inspection resulted in the inability for us to operated scheduled tours aboard seven vessels from the Sitka and Juneau fleet. We welcome the chance to make improvements to continue our 50 years of excellence in safety," Kirkpatrick wrote.

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