Dozens of passengers were forced to evacuate a ferry travelling from Lower Manhattan last month when the boat struck a submerged object imbedded in a sandbar and began taking on water. The ferry accident in New York happened just seconds after the boat pulled away from the pier at the South Street Seaport, headed toward the Rockaways.
A pylon, left over from some past waterfront construction, pierced the hull of the boat in two locations. The boat became stuck and the captain could not budge it. Eventually the propeller became partially imbedded in the river bottom. Fire department boats came to the rescue and removed all of the passengers back to the pier where they boarded another ferry.
Thankfully, none of the passengers were injured in this latest Manhattan ferry accident but had circumstances been even slightly different the story might not have ended so well. Eyewitness reports suggest that the crew of the vessel may have been more interested in trying to free the boat than protecting the passengers. Indeed, the crew tried in vain for 45 minutes to free the boat while passengers on board called 911 asking dispatchers what they should do.
Investigators are trying to determine whether the captain could have avoided the accident in the first place and whether the captain acted with the public’s safety in mind, suggesting that he should have called emergency services as soon as it became clear his boat was in trouble. If they conclude he acted improperly, the injured passengers may have a claim against the boat operator and captain for their pain and suffering and lost time from work.
The boat involved is an older model, utilized as an alternate when NYC’s new ferries are out of commission. Out of the fleet of 16 boats, only 10 are currently working.
If you’ve been injured while riding any of NYC’s waterborne public transportation or private water taxis, contact an experienced New York City ferry accident attorney immediately. Call the Law Offices of Nussin S. Fogel at 800-734-938 or 212-385-1122 to schedule your free consultation.