Cable mishap closes O.B. terminal temporarily 

During an incident on June 1, a wake from a SeaStreak fast ferry caused the Woods Hole ferry to hit the transfer bridge in Oak Bluffs. -Rich Saltzberg

The Steamship Authority diverted one or more vessels from Oak Bluffs on June 1 after two cables snapped on the transfer bridge at the terminal. The incident happened at “about 5:30 pm,” according to SSA spokesman Sean Driscoll. In response to questions from Oak Bluffs port council member Joe Sollitto and The Times, SSA general manager Robert Davis told the port council Tuesday that a Seastreak vessel caused a wake that made the ferry Woods Hole “heave” and part the cables on the transfer bridge. 

“No one was injured,” Davis said. “Thankfully no one was there on the transfer bridge when it happened.”

He added, “And that’s why we diverted the rest of the day into Vineyard Haven, because we had to get maintenance over there to replace those.” Davis went on to say they were able to get that work done in time for the first trip the next morning. 

Driscoll later said Seastreak and the SSA are unlikely to involve insurance companies and will “sort it out as good partners do.”

“Seastreak was following standard operating procedures as the vessel approached the dock,” Elizabeth Isherwood, a spokesperson for Seastreak, emailed. “They do not know what caused the issue with the broken cable on the bridge. It could have been another vessel going by, but they cannot say for sure.”