SSA service challenged by pre-Thanksgiving weather


Despite high winds and rough seas on Wednesday last week, Steamship Authority (SSA) boats ran as scheduled to shift travelers on and off the Island for Thanksgiving celebrations.

The SSA added an extra crew each day and ran three extra freight vessel trips in addition to the regular schedule on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, general manager Wayne Lamson said in a phone conversation yesterday.

“We couldn’t do much about extra service at the beginning of the day when it’s also busy, but where we could, we added extra service over the weekend to accommodate demand,” Mr. Lamson said. “I don’t have the exact traffic figures yet, but it was a great weekend. The crews did a great job.”

Although there were no canceled trips for Martha’s Vineyard service, Mr. Lamson said the high-speed ferry Iyanough’s last trip to Nantucket was canceled after she was damaged by high waves on the 4:30 pm crossing.

“The wind came up all of a sudden, late Wednesday afternoon,” Mr. Lamson said. “It happened about 5 pm, a little more than half-way through the trip, when the ferry was out on the open water. It hit a wave and sustained damage near the three front bay doors where luggage carts are stored.

“The crew did a great job in responding to everything and got everybody to Nantucket safely,” he added. “There was no water or damage in the passenger compartment and no broken windows.”

Mr. Lamson said the Iyanough was off the schedule for the weekend, but back in service yesterday, thanks to a quick turnaround for repairs by Gladding-Hearn Shipyard in Somerset.