Investigators probe high-speed ferry crash in lower Manhattan
By Colleen Long and David B. Caruso, APNEW YORK--A high-speed commuter ferry that crashed into a lower Manhattan dock had recently undergone a major overhaul that gave it new engines and a new propulsion system, but officials said it was too soon to tell whether they played any role in the morning rush hour incident that left 11 people seriously injured.
January 11, 2013, 12:07 am TWN
The catamaran Seastreak Wall Street had slowed following a routine trip across New York Bay and past the Statue of Liberty Wednesday morning when the impact took place, hurling scores of people to the deck or into the walls. Around 70 people suffered minor injuries.
The naval architecture firm that designed the reconfiguration, Incat Crowther, said in an August news release that the ferry's water-jet propulsion system had been replaced with a new system of propellers and rudders to save fuel costs and cut carbon dioxide pollution in half. James Barker, the chairman of the ferry's owner, Seastreak LLC, said the overhaul made it “the greenest ferry in America.”
The hull was reworked, and the boat was made 15 metric tons lighter. At top speed, the ferry, built in 2003, travels at around 35 knots, or 40 mph (66 kph).
Seastreak spokesman Bob Dorn, asked whether the work had hurt the ferry's maneuverability or caused pilots any problems, said it would be up to the National Transportation Safety Board to determine if the new equipment played any role.
Dee Wertz, who was on shore waiting for the ferry, saw the impact. She said that just moments before the ferry hit, she had been having a conversation with a ferry employee about how the boat's captains had been complaining lately about its maneuverability.
About 330 passengers and crew members were aboard the ferry.