After a rough night spent wrapped in tablecloths and dozing on floors, stranded showboat passengers began walking to safety from their disabled vessel via a 30-foot plank, a spokeswoman for the company that owns the boat said Sunday.
The process of safely escorting to shore the 567 passengers and 76 crew members aboard the Showboat Branson Belle –stuck in a remote area of Missouri's Table Rock Lake since Saturday afternoon - was expected to take about three hours, said Lisa Rau, a spokeswoman for Herschend Family Entertainment.
The incident left hundreds of passengers trapped on a boat with no sleeping accommodations.
Earlier, the arduous task of reaching the boat's remote location involved bulldozing vegetation to create a pathway.
"We are moving heaven and earth to get to them," Rau said earlier Sunday, adding that gusty winds and freezing temperatures were making the job difficult.
The boat left the dock in Branson, Missouri, at 4 p.m. Saturday and ran aground after the captain had problems with the thruster during the cruise, which was scheduled to last two and a half hours.