SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — The first of two groups of passengers aboard a casino boat that became stranded off Georgia's coast have arrived back in port aboard a Coast Guard cutter.

Two of the vessels were needed to ferry the 96 passengers, who were stuck aboard the Escapade on Tuesday night after the boat ran aground on its maiden trip from Savannah.

The boat was supposed to return about 12:30 a.m. Wednesday

Attempts to tow the boat failed when the tow lines broke, so those aboard were transferred first to small boats that hold about eight people, then to a larger vessel.

(Story by: Russ Bynum, The Associated Press)