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June 13th, 2012

Ferry in 2010 Accident Lacked Alarm Warning of Propulsion Loss

On May 8, 2010, the passenger ferry Andrew J. Barberi crashed into the St. George Terminal at Staten Island in New York. The accident resulted in serious injuries to dozens of passengers on board. The National Transportation Safety Board blames loss of propulsion control on the ferry for the accident.

The board also blames the accident on the lack of an alarm that would’ve alerted the pilot house crewmembers to the loss of propulsion control on the ferry. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, the loss of propulsion control of one of the propellers occurred as the ferry neared the St. George Terminal.

The Board says that the ferry was not equipped with a warning alarm system that would have alerted the pilot house crewmembers to the loss of propulsion control. Under the law, the ferry, which had a capacity of 6,000 passengers, was not even required to have an alarm system like this. This lack was probably one of the leading factors in the accident.

The very same ferry was involved in another accident in 2003 that killed 11 people. At least 20 people were injured in that accident. Soon after that accident, the National Transportation Safety Board made a number of safety recommendations. The Board asked the New York Department of Transportation’s Ferry Division to implement a new safety management system.

The National Transportation Safety Board now recommends that vessels that have controllable pitch propulsion like the Andrew Barberi come with alarm systems that alert operators when there is a loss of propulsion control.

The maritime law lawyers at Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers represent persons injured in boating and ferry accidents in Texas and across the country.

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