NEW JERSEY FERRY CRASHES INTO DOCK
Written By: Rheingold, Valet, Rheingold, Ruffo & Giuffra LLP
By: Thamanna Hussain
A ferry accident involving a commuter ferry crashing into Pier 11, a dock near New York's Financial District, leaving dozens of passengers injured including two who suffered critical injuries. The ferry was pulling into the pier carrying many morning commuters from New Jersey into lower Manhattan, when it missed its intended slip and slammed into another, slicing its starboard bow throwing passengers about the vessel. According to initial reports, the ferry was carrying 343 people, including five crew members. One of the critically injured people was reportedly thrown down the stairs where he hit his head on a window during the crash.
Although the cause of the ferry's crash is still under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), initial findings indicate that it was caused by a mechanical malfunction and not caused by human error. Seastreak, the company that owns the ferry service, has a troubled history with accidents, lawsuits, and bankruptcy. This ship has been involved in more than one previous accident. According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the same ferry sustained damage after slamming into a New Jersey dock in 2009. In 2010, the ferry was involved in a collision with a pole.
Seastreak said that it was assisting fully with investigators and the NTSB will be looking into a variety of issues in their investigation on the incident including recent changes to the propulsion system on the ferry, which is designed to cut fuel costs.