Updated October 3
Several Steamship Authority trips on Monday evening and Tuesday morning were canceled after the ferry Nantucket collided with a concrete pier in Oak Bluffs on Monday, leading to a small fracture in the vessel’s hull.
Steamship officials say that weather conditions led to the “hard docking.”
“The Nantucket had a hard docking due to wind and tidal conditions in Oak Bluffs when it made its 3:15 pm arrival,” SSA spokesperson Sean Driscoll told The Times Tuesday evening.
Steamship and Coast Guard officials say no one was injured.
The Steamship received clearance from the Coast Guard for the Nantucket to return to Woods Hole with passengers, but the remainder of the ferry’s trips were canceled for Monday. Driscoll told The Times on Tuesday morning that repairs were made, and service would resume with the 9:30 am departure from Woods Hole.
A subsequent release from the Steamship says that when the Nantucket was coming into Oak Bluffs Terminal on Monday, the vessel’s stern swung out of position and struck the concrete piling. Minor damage was found on the vessel’s protective rub railing after an initial inspection by the Nantucket’s crew. No damage was found to the dock.
When asked about the incident, Driscoll said on Tuesday that this isn’t the first hard docking. He said the pilings were meant to guide the ferries and protect the dock. “They are designed and meant to be impacted if necessary,” he said.
During the incident, 121 passengers were aboard the Nantucket. The passengers and 44 vehicles were unloaded without incident; with approval from the Coast Guard, another 364 passengers and 45 vehicles were taken to Woods Hole on the return trip.
A Coast Guard inspection found a three-inch fracture to the metal seam above the waterline on the Nantucket’s interior hull.
The SSA states that the seam did not represent a danger to the passengers or crew.
While the Nantucket’s scheduled trips had to be canceled until Tuesday morning, the release states customers were accommodated through other ferries.
SSA maintenance staff rewelded the seam, and the Nantucket was given Coast Guard approval to resume sailing on Tuesday.
Updated with additional information from the Steamship Authority.