Trapped passengers rescued from ferry elevator

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The elevator on the MV Martha's Vineyard ferry is posted with an "out of order" sign. - George Brennan

On Wednesday at 2:45 pm firefighters from the Woods Hole Station responded to a report of seven people trapped in an elevator aboard the MV Martha’s Vineyard, Falmouth Deputy Fire Chief Scott Thrasher said.

Thrasher said the vessel was about to get underway when the call came in. “By the time we got there, the chief engineer had already extricated the passengers trapped in the elevator,” he said.

Falmouth Fire Department protocol is to tag and seal off elevators in such an instance until they can be properly inspected, he said, but the Steamship Authority had already done so.

There were no reported injuries, he said, and the ferry continued on its route. It’s unclear how long the ferry was delayed from departing Woods Hole.

Marc Hanover, the Vineyard’s representative on the Steamship Authority board, said the people were in the elevator for 11 minutes, and one of them dialed 911. He said he believed the elevator was over-capacity with seven people, and that it may have recently had an “out of order” sign on it.

The Martha’s Vineyard has suffered a series of problems since returning after a more than $18 million refurbishment at Senesco Co. in North Kingstown, R.I.