Fast ferry grounds on Boston sandbar

ferry groundsAUGUST 27, 2012 —  Bay State Cruises said yesterday that its Boston-Provincetown fast ferry departures were again running as scheduled. That came after a grounding incident Saturday interrupted services.

The Coast Guard says that the ferry Providence 3 ran aground on Nixes Mate, in Boston's outer harbor August 25, 2012.

Watchstanders from Sector Boston received notification via VFH channel 16 at approximately 8:50 a.m. that the ferry had run aground with 145 passengers, four crew and one dog on board.

Sector Boston launched two 45-foot response boat mediums. Station Point Allerton launched a 25-foot response boat small. The Coast Guard Cutter Flyingfish was diverted. Quincy Police Department, Boston Police Department, Boston Fire Department, Weymouth Harbor Master, Massachusetts State Police, Sea Tow Boston, City Water Taxi, and the ferry Provincetown 2 were also on scene assisting.

Coast Guard Station Boston's two 45-foot response boats and the Quincy and Boston Police department boats transferred the passengers and all were safely evacuted onto the Provincetown 2 by approximately 10:35 a.m.

Coast Guard Marine Inspectors are conducting an investigation and inspection of the vessel.

The Boston Globe this morning reported a Bay State Cruise Co. spokesman as saying that a captain who has been training for about a month missed navigational marks and skidded onto a sandbar near Nixes Mate, a small patch of land between Deer Island and Long Island.

"At this time, it appears to us that it was a matter of operator error, clear and simple," the Boston Globe quotes Michael Glasfeld, a spokesman for Bay State Cruise Co., as writing in the statement. "Our electronic equipment is top notch, and there is no excuse for having missed the navigational marks and being as far out of position as they were."

The newspaper quotes Mr. Glasfeld as saying that the captain involved had been fired.

The ferry dislodged off the sandbar at 5 p.m. Saturday, about an hour before high tide, and by 7:30 p.m. workers were in the process of changing the propellers.

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