Coast Guard

‘Operationally Unfit’: Coast Guard Suspends 23 NY Waterway Ferries Over Safety Issues

The agency says all 32 vessels in the company's fleet were inspected over the last week, with 23 vessels taken out of operation

New York City
AP

What to Know

  • The Coast Guard has suspended operations of some New York Waterway ferries over safety discrepancies
  • The agency says all 32 vessels in the company's fleet were inspected over the last week, with 23 vessels taken out of operation
  • New York Waterway says eight ferries were re-inspected and returned to service on Sunday

A number of New York Waterway ferries were pulled from making trips in the waters between New Jersey and New York City over safety discrepancies, the Coast Guard said Sunday.

The agency said all 32 vessels in the company's fleet were inspected over the last week and 23 vessels taken out of operation for being "operationally unfit." New York Waterway says eight ferries were re-inspected and returned to service on Sunday.

The company on Monday operated with modified service on eight routes between New Jersey and New York City. Seven other routes are operating under normal schedules.

While many morning commuters faced delays, NY Waterway said all routes but one ran normal service for the evening commute. Liberty Harbor service between Jersey City and New York operated every 30 minutes instead of every 15 minutes.

As for Tuesday morning's commute, the company said it will operate normally on all toures except for three. The route from Liberty Harbor to Pier 11/Wall Street will run every half hour instead of 15 minutes; the Paulus Hook and Harborside to West 39th Street will run every half hour as well; and riders who use Harborside to Brookfield Place/Battery Park City will be directed two blocks to Paulus Hook.

"We know many people rely on these ferries for daily commutes, and as these discrepancies are rectified, we will work with New York Waterway to return these ferries to operations as quickly as possible," Capt. Jason Tama, commander of Coast Guard Sector New York, said in a statement.

"We weren’t happy with what we found last week so we did the surge of inspections on Saturday to make sure we look at every single vessel," Tama went on to say Monday. 

Petty Officer John Hightower, a spokesman for the agency, said the inspections of the entire fleet came after regular annual inspections found issues with fire safety and other emergency systems that hadn't been resolved.

"NY Waterway regrets the inconvenience to our customers," Smith said said. "We are working with the Coast Guard to address this issue as quickly as possible."

According to the Coast Guard, among the safety issues found on the ferries were non-working bilge alarms, which are used to gauge how much water is in the hull or if one is sinking. Additionally, the fire suppression systems were apparently not working, which are critical in the even of a fire in the engine room. It is unclear how many of the 23 ferries experienced the aforementioned problems, which are common among ferries, Tama said.

There are 32,000 passenger trips on the ferries every weekday.

Copyright A
Contact Us