Motorist on MV Gay Head goes overboard


Updated July 1

A motorist traveling from Nantucket to Hyannis aboard the Steamship Authority ferry Gay Head on Saturday somehow went overboard, and was rescued by the crew of the Hy-Line ferry Grey Lady IV. 

The Gay Head had completed the trip at approximately 9 pm when crewmembers noticed a driver was missing from a vehicle, SSA spokesman Sean Driscoll noted in an email. “The vessel was promptly searched, and the driver was not found on board,” he wrote. “During that search, a call was overheard from the M/V Grey Lady IV to the U.S. Coast Guard of a person in the water in Hyannis Channel. The person was later confirmed to be the driver of the vehicle left on the M/V Gay Head.”

Driscoll went on to write that the crew of the Grey Lady IV saved the person.“The Grey Lady IV crew was able to successfully retrieve the individual from the harbor, and the individual was subsequently transported to Cape Cod Hospital,” he wrote. “The captain of the Gay Head has been in contact with the Coast Guard, and is filing the necessary reports. The Authority extends its gratitude to the crew of the Grey Lady IV for their lifesaving actions.”

The Grey Lady IV was inbound in the Hyannis Channel, Hy-Line operations manager Jerry Poyant, said, when Capt. John Flynn thought he detected a cry for help out the window. A mate went out to look, and shortly thereafter the crew was exercising their “man overboard” procedure, Poyant said. Employing a device called a Jason’s cradle that can act as either a ladder or a litter, crew members rescued the person, Poyant said.

The U.S. Coast Guard did not respond to the incident, according to Petty Officer Amanda Wyrick. However, Wyrick noted the Coast Guard is conducting a “man overboard” investigation.

Driscoll declined to name the individual, and did not offer a cause or reason the individual went overboard. While he said the Coast Guard will perform the primary investigation, the SSA is also investigating the incident.

Barnstable harbormaster Brian Taylor could not immediately be reached for comment. 

Updated with more details.


  1. Great heads up work by the Grey Lady IV! That boat travels fast and spotting a person in the water after dark shows the captain pays attention.

    • Not the Captain.
      The mate/deckhand manning the the night vision/IR readout.
      That is required on all high speed ferries.

  2. Not the Captain.
    The mate/deckhand manning the the night vision/IR readout.
    That is required on all high speed ferries.

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