Awesome Orca passengers hospitalised



I got some info off another website reporting 8 passengers in critical condition after suffering poisionous fumes onboard their whale watching tour in Juneau.
The boat was called the awesome Orca.
Does anyone have anymore info?
Was this the same boat that had an explosion earlier this summer?


Can you tell me please where you saw this?? There is an Orca Tour organization which does whale-watching tours out of Juneau..sounds like their boat! I'm concerned, as I'm scheduled to go on a tour with them next week!!

The explosion was on a large cruise ship, not a small vessel like you describe!


The Awesome Orca is Captain Larry's boat. I have never heard of them having any problems.


I e-mailed them directly. It was NOT the Awesome Orca (the boat that Capt. Larry captains...) but another in their fleet that was affected. And although the passengers may have been listed as "critical" in the first report, all are fine -- sent to the hospital as a precaution, some given a boost of oxygen, and all released immediately.

The boat was one they use for "walk-up" excursions, a sort of "stand-by". They're installing carbon monoxide sensors on ALL their boats -- not required by the Coast Guard, but nice to have -- as a precaution, since this incident.

The Coast Guard has cleared the entire fleet, and all are in operation.


i am glad to hear they installed the sensors. i will be with capt larry in 2 weeks and i am sure i am going to have a great time and see lots of whales. i have all the confidence in the orka tour and i cant wait to be with them for the day.


I spoke with Carol at Orca also via phone and email and here is her reply, she said I could post this. She said that there is also an update in the Juneau Empire paper under the heading
“Repaired tour boat returning to serviceâ€Â.

The Orca Express had an incident of fumes blowing into the cabin. It was a situation, not a violation. We called the ambulance because we wanted to ensure everyone’s safety. As an inspected vessel that is what we do. Un-inspected vessels operate under a different set of rules than inspected vessels. (Always ensure you are on an inspected vessel.) The USCG officials determined that all things were handled correctly. All our staff are certified in first response first aid/CPR/AED. All passengers were treated with oxygen and released. Because things were handled well, all survived. We have chosen to install carbon monoxide detectors, which are not required, but we want to activate. The Express should be operational by mid week. Capt. Larry and the Awesome Orca experienced no downtime. Carol @ Orca

Edited to add that maybe Silversea or anyone who knows what site the original information was posted on could post the correct info above on that site also. :)

Post Edited (08-28-03 08:19)


I just got back from Alaska, and a tour with Larry on the Awesome Orca.

We did indeed see lots of whales -- humpback and Orcas.

But I must say this: We would not have seen the Orcas had Larry not seen another whale-watching ship -- the one the Princess uses -- in the area. He sat around in the water for quite awhile, commenting loudly under his breath: "I don't know what the h>>> they're doing there! I don't see anything going on! Why are they hanging around there??"

When someone on board suggested maybe he should go to the area to look, he did ..

to find a school of Orcas feeding on what was left of a seal (or something similar -- too far gone by that time for me to know with any certainty).

We wouldn't have seen the whales had he not been urged to go check out the area, as they finished feeding and left, shortly after.

The Awesome Orca is very small and cramped. There were 18 people aboard -- admittedly far fewer than on the larger cruise vessel -- but the Awesome Orca was filled with the 18 -- it could not have held any more! While you could go on the top of the Awesome Orca -- you could do that only if you were able (and willing) to climb a ladder. The larger vessel had an actual (indoor) staircase to the second open deck level. The lower level of the Orca was enclosed...with scratched glass that was hard to see through. On the day we had our trip, it was quite cold and windy, so it was uncomfortable to have the windows open.

I don't know if the lower level of the larger vessel had scratched glass or not. But it also had an outer deck that you could go out on, to see stuff. This was not true of the Orca.

I don't know what kinds of snacks were available on the larger vessel. Larry advertises snacks and beverages -- which consisted of bits of mild chedder cheese, Ritz crackers, and cubes of dried salmon. Beverages was coffee, and hot water. The woman with him announced that she had no tea or cocoa...but we could have hot water if we wanted, as she had a small microwave on board.

There was a bathroom on the Orca -- but I didn't use it. I use a wheelchair, and tried to check whether the Orca was accessible. I was told it was, -- but "accessible" meant that Larry and my husband had to lift me and my chair into the vessel, and there was only one place where I could sit -- blocking access to a large part of the kitchen, and restricting access to the bathroom. There was no way I could have gotten into the bathroom had I needed/wanted to use it. And I could not move around the boat, not in the lower level where I was "parked" for the 2-1/2 hours, and certainly had no access to the upper level.

My friends and husband who came with me liked the trip...and I did, too. But I'm pretty sure we all would have been more comfortable on the larger vessel -- who saw the same whales we did, the same sea lions, the same eagles -- as we were all in the same place. Larry's prices were the same as the prices of the tour on the larger vessel.