Howard navigates NY Waterways wake

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NEW YORK — Nitzan Levy finally has a check for the damage a NY Waterways ferry did to her boat, but I really faced a couple of unusual obstacles helping her get it.

She runs a school called Sailors New York from Liberty Harbor dock in Jersey City. Last month a New York Waterways commuter ferry unleashed a powerful wake as it left its docking point near her boat.

Nitzan says the damage to her boat, motor and lost work cost her more than $5,000. She notified New York Waterways with a voicemail and an email and heard nothing. So she contacted me.

When we went over to the company’s Weehawken headquarters, we met a security guard who seemed to be offended that we would even come over. But I eventually got contact information for New York Waterways’ PR person, Pat Smith of Rubenstein Public Relations, Inc.

We sent him video of the incident that (fortunately) another boat owner took. Within a few hours, Nitzan heard from the company’s insurer and about two weeks later she had a check for $4,150.

All good.

But I wondered what happened to the ferry captain? Was he ever disciplined?

So I contacted Pat Smith again. Much to my surprise, he claimed Nitzan might have made up damage and the payment she received was just because it wasn’t worth the cost of fighting her claim.

Is that really the kind of public relations New York Waterways needs?

In any case, this is resolved. It’s not all she asked for but Nitzan is happy with getting the check in a reasonably prompt manner.