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Ferry that Crashed in Manhattan Injuring at Least 57 Commuters Was Recently Overhauled

Jan 11, 2013

The commuter ferry that crashed into a Lower Manhattan pier dock had recently undergone renovations and a complete overhaul of its engine.

According to an L.A. Times report, the Seastreak Wall Street had its entire high-speed four-engine system replaced with a propellor system that made it more lightweight and fuel-efficient.

The Seastreak Wall Street crashed into a dock at Pier 11 on Wednesday with more than 300 passengers on board. At least 57 people were injured - three reportedly in serious condition - when the catamaran hit the dock. Some witnesses reported seeing the boat fail to slow down as it approached the dock.

The ferry commutes people daily from Atlantic Highlands, N.J., to Pier 11 in Lower Manhattan. On its fateful voyage on Wednesday, the more than 300 passengers were tossed from their seats about the ship. People inside stairwells at the time of impact were thrust into walls and polls and down stairs.

Investigators from New York City, the Coast Guard, and the National Transportation Safety Board were at the scene throughout the rest of the day on Wednesday attempting to piece together the developments prior to, during, and after the crash. According to the report, the Seastreak Wall Street “hit a slip at the pier, then kept going and smashed into a second slip.

“The impact left a large gash in the right front of the boat and sent passengers flying down stairs, to the ground and, in at least one case, through a glass door.”

Included in its investigation will surely be details on the engine overhaul it underwent recently. The report cites another report appearing in an August 2012 edition of the trade publication, Marinelog, in which details of the new engine are revealed.

The Seastreak Wall Street had a four-engine system previously that allowed it to move at a high rate of speed. To cut operating costs, the vessel replaced that original engine - in service since the ferry launched in 2003 - with a propellor system to move the boat. Changes to the ferry’s schedule and the age of the original allowed the change in the engine.

Investigators were also conducting toxicology tests on the operators of the ferry at the time of the incident to determine if they were possibly intoxicated at the time of the crash.

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