NEW YORK -- Five days ago the SeaStreak Wall Street, a high-speed commuter ferry, crashed while attempting to dock in Lower Manhattan. The ferry travels from Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey to Pier 11 in Lower Manhattan. As a result of the crash, the ferry had sustained a 4 foot gash on the starboard bow, resulting in 70 people becoming injured—2 critically injured, 9 seriously injured. Those who were injured were transported to nearby hospitals by flat-board stretchers, wheelchairs, and neck braces. One man remains critically injured after falling down a flight of stairs and suffering a severe head wound.
New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg was one of the first officials to arrive on scene. Investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the accident. Upon arriving at the scene, the National Transportation Safety Board, NTSB, issued all crew members and the captain alcohol breath tests as well as drug tests. While the breath tests all came back negative, it could take up to two weeks to know the results of the drug tests.
Captain of the Wall Street, Jason Reimer, has been with the company for ten years. He told investigators that while approaching the dock he was unable to shift the boat into reverse and the engines had later died on him. The ferry was traveling about 13mph when it struck the dock, which is well above the typical crawl for docking.
The ferry was recently updated with new engines and a propulsion system. Investigators are hoping to learn more about these new engines though the manufacturing representatives that have been reviewing recorded data. The engines had a data recorder to monitor the condition of the engines as well as two closed circuit TV cameras that were installed in each of the two engine rooms. Investigators are hoping that the data recovered can shed light on what may have happened.
Incat Crowther is a naval architecture firm in Australia that designed the new propulsion system that was replaced on the ferry back in August. Installed was a new system of propellers and rudders that helped reduce pollution and saved on fuel costs.
James Barker, President of SeaStreak released a statement the day after the accident and continues to reassure passengers that SeaStreak is fully committed to the safe operation of their ferry services. SeaStreak is fully cooperative with the investigation and is assisting the NTSB. There have been no reports of any pollution in the area due to the incident.