Authorities evacuated a tourist ship with more than 300 people on board after it ran aground yesterday in choppy seas off the coast of Poros, an island near Athens. The 278 passengers, mainly Japanese, American and Russian tourists, were evacuated by boat and were taken to Poros, the Merchant Marine Ministry said. There were also 35 crew members aboard. «The operation (was) somewhat tricky because of the wind,» local boatman George Koutsoubos told NET state television. The coast guard said two ships, a C-130 transport plane and numerous fishing boats assisted the evacuation, while four coast guard vessels and a helicopter were standing by. The ship, operated by the Hydraiki Naval company, was running daylong cruises in the Saronic Gulf. The coast guard said it was not yet known why it had run aground. Last April, a cruise ship sank in the port of Santorini after running aground. More than 1,500 passengers and crew were rescued, but a French tourist and his daughter are officially missing and feared drowned.