Ferries are a way to get to work for tens of thousands of people every day in the New York City area. The vast majority of ferry trips are done safely and without incident, however accidents happen. If you’re involved in a ferry accident, John Grady or Jeffrey Craig can help. The U.S. Coast Guard is investigating the latest ferry accident in the news, a botched ferry docking in Jersey City that injured seven and sent five people to the hospital. The ferry arrived from the Manhattan Financial District, pulling into the wrong slip and slamming into a metal apparatus, according to officials. The pier is 300 yards north of the Paulus Hook pier where the ferry normally docks at Exchange Place.
HARD – LANDING FERRY SENDS FOUR TO THE HOSPITAL
Four of the injured were knocked to the floor of the boat upon impact. None of the injuries were serious. Twenty-four passengers and three crew members were on board at the time of the incident. The two crew members and the captain passed an alcohol test after the incident. This incident is described as a “hard landing” that took place at 4:20 the afternoon of November 29. NY Waterway, which is owned by Goldman Sachs, operated the ferry. The Jersey City Medical Center said seven people were evaluated for injuries at the scene and that two passengers and two crew members were taken to the hospital. All four were released from the hospital that night. “Nobody got hurt that bad. It was a lucky day,” passenger Hatidza Becovic, who said she hurt her knees and elbows in the accident, told The Jersey Journal. “Everyone on the boat fell down… There were a lot of people, a lot of kids on the boat.”
RECENT HISTORY OF FERRY ACCIDENTS
The area is no stranger to ferry accidents. Last January a commuter ferry sped into a lower-Manhattan dock, injuring 74 people, two critically. Crew members blamed mechanical failure for locking up the ship’s controls. There were 326 passengers and five crew members on board. The ferry hit a buoy, then zipped past its lower-Manhattan slip and crashed into a neighboring dock, sending passengers flying from their seats, crashing through glass doors and landing on the deck. The two-story catamaran was traveling about 11 mph when it crashed. Many passengers were rising to exit when the impact sent them sailing instead. That ferry had been involved in past incidents. In January 2010, it slammed into a cluster of pilings at the Sandy Hook Bay Marina, injuring 23 people. In 2009, it crashed into an E. 35th St. dock, tearing a 2-foot hole in the bow. Inspectors determined that the helm control had malfunctioned, according to Coast Guard records. There were no injuries in that incident. In 2010, a ferry with mechanical problems crashed into the Staten Island Ferry terminal, injuring 36 people. It was the same vessel involved in an October 2003 crash that killed 11 people and injured 42, considered one of the worst ferry accidents in New York’s recent history.