Dozens Injured in Lower Manhattan Ferry Crash

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Authorities say 74 people were injured in the Manhattan ferry crash — two of them critically. There were 326 passengers on the vessel when it arrived from New Jersey on Wednesday morning.

An NTSB spokesman said an 11-member team of investigators will be on site gathering evidence for the next five to seven days.

The SeaStreak was on its second trip of the morning at 8:40 a.m. Wednesday when it hit the dock. Many of the passengers waiting to get off were sent flying.

"There was no warning. You couldn't see anything. I'm doing my blackberry or whatever and everybody was, next thing you know, were out of their seats and falling to the floor," said Frank McLaughlin of Highlands, NJ.

Roy Marceau of Rumsen, NJ, says there was no warning before the boat crashed into the pier.

"It was a pretty good jolt, there was a lot of people cut, banged up, in pain. People came crashing through the two glass doors in the back and splattered in the aisles.

Officials at the scene gave this breakdown of the injuries: two critical; nine serious; 17 guarded, 29 minor. The marine industry magazine MarineLog reported in August that the ferry's water-jet propulsion system had been replaced with a new system of propellers and rudders to save fuel costs.

Police say the crew passed alcohol breath tests given after the crash.

The ferry has had seven incidents since 2006, and the Coast Guard Incident reports show the Seastreak Wall Street has been involved in at least two prior docking accidents.

A spokesman for SeaStreak said those past incidents were minor and that the company has a stellar safety record. The company said ferry service should be up and running for the Thursday morning commute.


In January of 2010, the boat hit a cluster of fender piles at the Sandy Hook Bay Marina while docking, punching a hole through the skin of the ship above the waterline.

And in August of 2009, the ferry suffered a 2- to 3-foot tear in its bow above the waterline while docking at East 34th Street when the ship's controls became unresponsive.

Nobody was reported injured in either incident.

The New York Times is reporting the city has been working to expand ferry service along New York City’s waterways in recent years, and accidents are relatively rare.

Colby Hamilton and Robert Lewis contributed reporting.


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Comments [8]

bobbieMidnite from Long Island

St Vinnies was beautiful and there in time of need but vocal local residents prevented it from capitalizing on its assets and building a new Tall building. Now the vocal neighbors,(NIMBY) will have a new building but no help in times of need. Democracy ultimately won and lost. BTW the monetary help slated for post Sandy Belleville and NYU is higher than what Vinnies takes a disaster to get the fire under Mr.Cuomo.

Jan. 09 2013 11:31 PM
michelle from west village

it is insane that lower manhatten has no hospital!!!! we must demand a hospital, and keep demanding until we get one. it seems to me that the people do not have any representation, anywhere. no one listens to the people anymore. it's"US and THEM" the people and the government. and no one in government cares what the people are saying. what is it going to take for "THEM" to see lower manhatten needs a hospital?

Jan. 09 2013 09:46 PM
GCL from Astoria Queens

@B385 from the Village:
Actually I do. It was the Catholic Church that was stuck with it, and they tried repeatedly to do things, including arranging for buildings to be built near them. The city kept denying permits for that. So far nothing has been done there.

@Tom Li:
NYT I would trust, even without their radio station. Village Voice I would not.

Jan. 09 2013 06:10 PM
clive betters

please think about the following- there were under a hundred injured; apparently,less than half a dozen of whom, were seriously injured. is it not disturbing to hear, that despite the small number of people badly injured,that people actually had to be taken to brooklyn hospitals. the reason being,and i'll quote the authorities,"to not clog up the emergency rooms in manhattan hopitals" what,are you kidding me!! what about an emergency with a hundred,three hunderd,or more wounded. what would we do then,send them to hackensack medical center ?! boy do we miss st vincents now,don't we....

Jan. 09 2013 01:18 PM
tom LI

Barbara 385 - sounds like there should be a link you can provide to prove your accusations and character attacks...? Some NYT story, Village Voice, etc ??

Americans are spoiled to the point of the absurd at this point. Expecting every service imaginable on every street corner - be it a full service top rate Hospital or a 24 hour market, stocking everything - and its all supposed to be at low cost. BUT of course these things should be magically supported by imaginary funds - that don't include your money. God forbid Americans pay for the things they demand.

Jan. 09 2013 12:34 PM
Barbara385 from Greenwich Village

GCL of Astoris: You obviously do not know anything about why and how St. Vincent's was closed. The City did not help in anyway with the situation. If you want further information about the real details, you may contact me.

Jan. 09 2013 12:25 PM
GCL from Astoria NY

ST Vincent's was closed because of all things, mounting debt. The people behind it just could not keep up with those bills. Not for the reasons you cite.

The community wanted to restore it. So did the city. The owners wanted to remain private and that wouldn't work for this badly managed system of healthcare.

That ferry was accident prone to begin with. Let's worry about that instead.

Jan. 09 2013 12:14 PM
Barbara385 from Greenwich Village

Fifty people injured, more than one critically, and patients are lined up on the cold pier. Some had to be taken as far away as Columbia Presbyterian on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, quite a distance to travel in critical condition. Imagine the suffering that would not have been necessary if Saint Vincent's Hospital Medical Center at 12th St. and 7th Avenue had remained to take care of patients, as it did so well for over 100 years. The distance to care is life threatening for all who live and work in Manhattan since the closure of St. Vincent's, for this we have Governor Cuomo, Commissioner Shah and above all, wealthy corruption of Mayor Bloomberg's real estate friends. Today, our hospital is destroyed and replaced shortly by multi-million dollar coops. Coops dont provide medical care but human life is of little value to those who prefer real estate dollars over community needs. And a loud Thank You shout out to Speaker Quinn, who did nothing but promote the closure of St. Vincent's to help her friends, the Rudin real estate group.

Jan. 09 2013 12:10 PM

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