On Saturday, June 5, a ferry traveling from Highlands, New Jersey, to East 35th Pier in Manhattan crashed violently into Brooklyn’s Bushwick Inlet Park. Many of the passengers onboard were returning from a long day at the beach in Sandy Hook.
Over 100 passengers were on board at the time of the crash, all of whom were evacuated successfully by the Fire Department. Multiple travelers sustained injuries and were taken to NYU Langone Hospital.
The ferry, owned and operated by the company Seastreak, malfunctioned while travelling in the East River. The captain subsequently lost control of the vessel’s engine and steering and the boat drifted slowly toward northern Brooklyn.
The Seastreak finally ran aground in a section of the Bushwick Inlet Park that is currently closed for construction. The vessel sustained serious damage in its hull and was taking on water during the evacuation.
Fire Department boats were already near the site due to a nearby jet ski accident, and were able to arrive at the Seastreak within four minutes of the crash.
After the passengers were evacuated, a salvage crew retrieved debris from the ship that had fallen into the water. The company is still investigating the cause of the malfunction.
Saturday’s incident is the latest in a string of recent ferry snafus. On May 13, an NYC Ferry crashed into a construction barge near Brooklyn Bridge Park. Twnety-seven passengers evacuated without any injuries.
Multiple of the ship’s windows shattered upon impact. Officials from the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) attributed the incident to rising tides.
Elsewhere in North Brooklyn, the NYC Ferry landing in Greenpoint closed suddenly last week. The announcement was made via a cryptic message on Twitter, which attributed the service change to a “mechanical issue.”
Since the closure, the MTA has set up a free shuttle bus between Greenpoint and Hunters Point South. The bus route roughly mimics that of the ferry and runs every 40 minutes in both directions.
A spokesperson from NYCEDC offered this paper a statement regarding the recent India Street closure.
“Service was suspended to the Greenpoint landing after a captain noticed an issue with one of the pier piles,” it read. “Yesterday, the landing and piles were removed from the site to be inspected. At this time, the Greenpoint landing remains out of service in both directions.
“Lendlease [the real estate company that owns the landing] is currently performing an examination of the pier’s infrastructure and we anticipate they will share a timeline for repairs next week,” it continued. “As always, safety remains NYC Ferry’s top priority.”