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NYC ferry crash

Over 50 people were injured after the ferry they were riding in crashed into a dock in Lower Manhattan Wednesday morning.

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As many as three lawsuits tied to the Seastreak Ferry crash in Lower Manhattan have been filed.

The latest one comes from attorneys for a Wall Street broker.

He has yet to regain consciousness after the crash.

That brings the number of lawsuits against Seastreak to three

The crash two weeks ago, left more than 50 people hurt.

NTSB officials say the captain of the ferry that crashed into the pier is Seastreak’s most experienced captain, with 17 years on the job. He reports the reverse thrusts on the ferry – the systems that would have allowed him to slow down as he pulled into the dock…failed.

The damaged “Wall Street” ferry is now docked back in Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey – the subject of an investigation led by a National Transportation Safety Board “Go Team”.

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Damage suffered by a Seastreak ferry when it pulled into Pier 11 at the South Street Seaport at around 8:45 a.m. Wednesday. Passengers were tossed around in a chaotic scene. (WPIX-TV)

If Thursday morning’s crowded Seastreak ferry is any indication – commuters may be treating a bizarre crash near the wall street pier just a day earlier as an isolated incident.

Commuter Charles Virginia told Pix11, “It’s really a safe boat company. And I think the track record shows that. When you’re traveling in bad weather, or at night, when it’s dark out, you’re bound to have minor accidents.  It’s actually a really safe boat company.”

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Nearly two dozen people were injured in a ferry crash at the South Street Seaport Wednesday morning. The image above was taken from the scene. (@HustleCityInc via Twitter)

Dozens of people were injured after the boat struck the pier traveling at about 11 miles an hour.

Coast Guard officials say the captain and crew passed alcohol tests that were administered after the crash and drug test results will take another several days.

LOWER MANHATTAN (PIX11) — For the next five to seven days, investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board will remain in New York from their headquarters in Washington to gather information to help them determine what caused the hazardous crash of a commuter ferry in lower Manhattan Wednesday morning.   However, a conclusion in the case is not expected for weeks, if not months.

What is very clear, though, is the six foot-long tear in the starboard hull of the Seastreak Wall Street ferry.  It is the apparent result of the 500-passenger vessel’s allison.  That’s a nautical term meaning the collision of a moving vessel with a stationary object.  In the Seastreak Wall Street’s case, it was the moving vessel.  Its docking pier, Pier 11, was the stationary object.

Seastreak gash

A six foot-long gash was torn into the starboard hull of the Seastreak Wall Street ferry.

Finding out how this happened will be a long, but thorough process, according to the NTSB.  “We plan to be looking into the maintenance records, the crew records, the training records – anything like that, we want to be looking at,” said Robert Sumwalt, a National Transportation Safety Board member, in a late afternoon news conference.

He also said that while the work of the 11 investigators will include interviews with the ferry’s captain, Jason Reimer, and the rest of the crew, beginning Thursday morning, he and his team were only in New York to gather evidence.  He said that conclusions would come later, based on the evidence gathered in New York over the next week or so.

“We are going out to collect the factual information,” Sumwalt said, “the perishable information… information that can go away with the passage of time.”

The first step in the process of establishing the cause of the crash were toxicology tests of the Seastreak Wall Street’s captain and crew.  On Thursday afternoon the CEO of Seastreak Corporation, James Barker, said that the crew had all passed tests for blood alcohol.  Results for drug tests will take longer to obtain.

Barker described Capt. Reimer as “one of the best in the business.”  He said that it was up to the NTSB to comment regarding a cause of the crash, but did note that he had the engines of his vessel, which was built in 2003, retrofitted last summer for environmental reasons.

Calling it “the greenest in the fleet,” Barker stood by his company’s ship, and by its crew and captain.  Capt. Jason Reimer was on board the bridge of the Seastreak Wall Street at the time of the collision.

The vessel, Barker confirmed, had been involved in incidents in the past, but nothing nearly this serious.

NEW YORK (PIX11) - Over 50 people were injured after the ferry they were riding in crashed into a dock in Lower Manhattan Wednesday morning.

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NEW YORK (PIX11) -  As many as 86 people were injured Wednesday morning after the commuter ferry they were riding in suffered a hard landing in a lower Manhattan pier.

According to officials, the 100-ton Seastreak ferry careened into the dock when it pulled into Pier 11 around 8:45 a.m. The boat appeared to hit one slip, then a second one, at high speed, according to a preliminary assessment of the crash provided by city officials.

Passengers were tossed around in a chaotic, bloody scene, with account of commuters thrown clear into the air and some down the stairs. Most passengers were seated at the time, PIX11 News has learned, giving some indication of the force of the crash.

ferry crash victim

As many as 58 people were injured Wednesday morning after the commuter ferry they were riding in suffered a hard landing in Lower Manhattan.

Two people are in critical condition.  One person was taken to New York Presbyterian Hospital for surgery after tumbling down a set of stairs and suffering a serious head injury.  Nine others are in serious condition.

“There were people on backboards everywhere, just looking . . .it was a terrible scene,” said Sheila Carson.  “One person was on the ground with a lot of blood nearby.”

Several victims were pulled out of the boat on stretchers and with bandaged heads as officials set up a triage area at the pier.  The accident tore a large gash into the hull of the ferry. It was not immediately clear what caused the crash.

Some 363 passengers and five crew members were aboard the ferry at the time of the crash. All passengers have been removed from the boat.

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Nearly two dozen people were injured in a ferry crash at the South Street Seaport Wednesday morning. The image above was taken from the scene. (@HustleCityInc via Twitter)

Two of the injuries were severe, officials said. Twenty of the passengers were “longboarded” on stretchers for spinal mobilization, while others who were taken to hospitals were brought in under their own power.

“(There were) units everywhere, patients everywhere, just grab and go,” said Long Island College Hospital EMT Boris Ladyzhensky.

An overview of the scene Wednesday morning at Pier 11

Those with minor injuries were transported to Brooklyn hospitals while the severe injuries were treated in Manhattan.

Ferry crash location

The ferry had departed from Connors Pier in Highlands, N.J. The Seastreak service runs high-speed ferries between New Jersey and Manhattan.

Seastreak LLC has a history of accidents and mismanagement, DNAinfo.com reported Wednesday.  Eleven incidents over the past decade include vessels running aground, equipment failures and an engine room fire, according to the U.S. Coast Guard and the National Transportation Safety Board.

The NTSB held a preliminary press conference in the afternoon.  Board member Robert Sumwalt announced that an 11-member team will begin investigating immediately, and guessed that the time-frame could be between five and seven days.

The team will start with all perishable evidence and will continue giving updates throughout the evening.  The NTSB will also give updates on its website and twitter feed.

Stay with PIX11.com for more on this developing story.

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