This morning, a commuter ferry called the Seastreak left from New Jersey, bound for Pier 11 near Wall Street. Unfortunately, the daily ferry did not arrive safely at its destination. Instead, at around 8:45 AM on Wednesday January 9th, the Ferry crashed into a dock in Lower Manhattan, tearing a large gash in the side of the ferry. According to CNN, the crash has resulted in at least 57 injuries so far, with at least two injuries defined as critical.
Our New York City accident attorneys are saddened for those involved in the ferry crash and we wish all passengers a full and speedy recovery from their injuries. We are also concerned that this ferry crash is one in a long line of recent incidents. Ferry crashes have become practically commonplace in New York in recent years and commuters are put at serious risk every time one of these devastating accidents happens.
Recent New York City Ferry Accidents
For the Seastreak, this January crash is not its first incident. In 2009, the same ferry slammed into a dock in New Jersey, slashing open its starboard bow and creating a 2-3 foot gash. The ferry was also involved in an incident in 2010 when it had a hole punctured in its board side by a dock pile. This most recent crash, however, is shaping up to be the most severe incident for the Seastreak.
Tragically, it is not the most severe ferry crash in recent history. In 2003, a ferry called the Andrew J. Barberi hit a dock in the St. George ferry terminal at full speed. Eleven people were killed as the boat slammed into the concrete pier. More than 42 people suffered serious injuries in the incident, which is widely regarded as one of the worst disasters in the history of modern mass transit. The victims of this devastating crash were buried under debris pills and some passengers even jumped off the ferry into the freezing cold water below.
Like the Seastreak, the Andrew J. Barberi also has more than one accident on its record. In 2010, the commuter ferry again crashed into a terminal- this time in Staten Island In this incident, 36 people were injured.
These accidents were the most severe and devastating of recent New York City commuter ferry crashes, but they also weren’t the only recent incidents either. In 2001, for example, a Highlands to Manhattan commuter ferry ran aground in icy waters outside of Sandy Hook, resulting in 257 people getting stranded for five hours.
So many ferry accidents in such a short time period is cause for grave concern, especially as these commuter ferries typically have a large number of passengers on board. The Seastreak involved in the January crash, for example, can hold around 400 passengers. When ferries crash, all of these passengers could potentially be seriously hurt. One witness to the crash today indicates seeing many people bleeding, bandaged or being transported off of the ferry into ambulances while strapped to boards.
Because of the great potential for injury, it is very important that ferry companies and ferry pilots do everything possible to ensure the safety of their passengers. In many cases, these ferry accidents can be avoided when proper safety precautions are followed or at least when drivers and companies refrain from negligence. In the devastating Andrew J. Barberi crash in 2003, for example, the driver blacked out at the time of the accident, apparently because he had consumed pain pills that made him drowsy.
There are no reports yet as to what caused this most recent crash of the Seastreak, but if it does turn out that the driver or the ferry company was negligent in any way that led to the accident, the victims can and should take legal action.
The Law Offices of Nicholas Rose, PLLC offers free consultations to accident victims. Call 1-877-313-7673 to speak with someone about your case and to discuss your rights today!
NYC Traffic Accidents in Focus as Holidays Approach, New York Injury Lawyer Blog November 19, 2012