The 150-foot SeaStreak ferry Commodore, which provides high-speed passage between New York and Oak Bluffs, ran aground Saturday in Brooklyn. It had been en route to Manhattan from New Jersey.
The ferry ran aground in the Bushwick Inlet after the Coast Guard’s New York command center received a report it was taking on water, according to a release. That report came in at approximately 4:17 pm. In addition to the Coast Guard, New York City’s police and fire departments responded.
The ferry had 118 passengers and seven crew members on board when it grounded, according to the Coast Guard; however, a statement by SeaStreak puts the number of passengers at 107. The grounding is under investigation by the Coast Guard.
“The team effort between the Coast Guard and our local first responders including FDNY and NYPD harbor units allowed for the safe evacuation of all passengers,” Capt. Zeita Merchant, commander of Coast Guard Sector New York, said through a release. “The Coast Guard will now work with SeaStreak on the investigation and inspection of the vessel to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.”
A SeaStreak statement pointed to a loss of engine power and steering before the vessel grounded.
“The vessel drifted into Bushwick Inlet on the Brooklyn side of the East River, and came to rest along the shore,” SeaStreak stated. “The captain and crew were able to alert the passengers several times to be seated and hold on prior to the vessel going aground. With the assistance of the Coast Guard and the NYFD, the crew of the Commodore safely evacuated all 107 passengers on board, and no injuries to passengers were reported. One crew member was taken for observation — not for injury from the grounding, but from what we believe may have been heat exhaustion.”
As of Sunday, SeaStreak reported the Commodore was in dry-dock on deck for repairs. In order to get the vessel to a repair facility, “temporary patches were applied and pumps were used to pump out the water,” the ferry company stated.
“We are sorry that this happened,” the ferry company stated, “and that our passengers had to go through this ordeal. All passengers will receive a full refund for their travel yesterday, and will be provided complimentary tickets for future trips this season. If you were on the Commodore yesterday and have not yet received an email from SeaStreak, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-800-BOAT-RIDE.”