Seastreak ferry runs aground in Brooklyn

Written by Nick Blenkey

Multiple agencies responded to the ferry grounding. [NYFD photograph]

The largest ferry in the Seastreak fleet, the 150-foot Commodore ran aground in Bushwick Inlet, in Brooklyn, New York, Saturday evening.

Coast Guard, New York City Fire Department (FDNY), and New York City Police Department (NYPD) crews responded after watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector New York command center received a report at approximately 4:17 p.m. that the vessel had run aground and was taking on water in Bushwick Inlet in Brooklyn, New York, at approximately 4:17 p.m.

There were 107 passengers and seven crew members on board.

Three boat crews from Coast Guard Station New York were launched and began rescue efforts with FDNY and NYPD crews. NYPD and FDNY safely evacuated all passengers and crew-members from the ferry, and Coast Guard Station New York members went aboard with FDNY members to conduct dewatering operations.

“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,” said Capt. Zeita Merchant, commander of Coast Guard Sector New York. “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.”

NYFD said that units from multiple agencies arrived in under four minutes.

“We already had fire and police vessels in the water due to a jet ski incident.” the department said in an Instagram post. “It was a well-coordinated operation.” The passengers that were removed were taken to the nearby Navy Yard by multiple Fire Department Marine units and multiple NYPD Harbor launches.”

According to FDNY, there were no injuries except for one member of the crew who was taken =to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

Seastreak subsequently issued the following statement:

“Just after 4pm on Saturday, June 5th, while traveling along the East River to E. 35th St. in Manhattan from Highlands, N.J., the Commodore experienced an issue that caused the vessel to lose engine power and steering. The vessel drifted into Bushwick Inlet on the Brooklyn side of the East River and came to rest along the shore. 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.

“We are appreciative of the prompt responses of both the USCG and the FDNY, who were calm and professional in assisting with an orderly disembarkation of our passengers to the shore. The safety of our passengers is our top priority and we are cooperating with the USCG to conduct an investigation as to what caused the mechanical or electrical failure.

“While the hull of the Commodore did sustain some damage that allowed water to enter the port hull, temporary patches have been applied and pumps were used to pump out the water. The vessel is now floating freely and will be towed to a shipyard later today for repairs.

We are sorry that this happened, 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 [email protected] or 1-800-BOAT-RIDE.

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