A ferry accident in New York City left 30 passengers suffering from a variety of injuries ranging from scrapes and bruises to more serious conditions requiring hospitalization late last month. The victims were tossed to the decks and bounced off interior supports when the New York Water Taxi smashed into a pier on the West Side of Manhattan on July 28th. FDNY responders reported that none of the injuries appeared to be life-threatening but several individuals were treated and released and while more were transported to a nearby hospital.
Investigators closed off Pier 79 in an effort to find out exactly what happened to cause this double-decker boat (owned and operated by Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises) to ram bow-first into the pier.
New York City ferry accidents can be extremely dangerous to passengers because boats (unlike automobiles) aren’t equipped with safety features like seat belts and air bags. When a water taxi crashes into something (the pier, another boat, or an obstruction in the river) hard enough to stop it, the force is tremendous and can send victims flying through the air.
The ferry was also coming in to dock, which likely compounded the injuries because passengers typically rise to debark before the boat is fully secured at the dockside.
If the pilot was negligent in his or her duty to operate the boat in a safe manner, the victims can seek financial compensation from the owner and operator of the boat, in this case, Circle Line. If a mechanical issue caused the ferry accident in Manhattan, investigators will no doubt be looking closely at maintenance logs to see if engineers employed by the company were doing their jobs correctly. If not, the company itself could be legally liable for pain and suffering, medical expenses, lost wages, and more.
If you’ve been injured while riding on any of the public or privately owned watercraft in NYC, contact an experienced New York City ferry accident attorney today.