Most NY Waterway Ferries Back in Service
The majority of NY Waterway ferries taken out of service for safety violations last month have returned to regular operations, the U.S. Coast Guard said.
On November 24, the Coast Guard revealed that Sector New York marine inspectors determined that 23 of NY Waterway's 32 ferries had damage or discrepancies significant enough to warrant a suspension of service. Findings included inoperable fixed fire extinguishing systems and bilge alarms; expired lifesaving equipment; and structural damage affecting watertight integrity.
As of December 12, all but five of the 23 suspended vessels are back in service, and the entire NY Waterway fleet will be subject to more frequent inspections, the Coast Guard said.
“The safety of the passengers that ride these ferries is our top priority,” said Capt. Jason Tama, commander of Coast Guard Sector New York, which oversees approximately 200 ferries operating within the greater New York City area. “We expect passenger vessels to be in compliance with safety standards and ready for inspection at all times.”
The region’s multiple ferry systems carry tens of millions of passengers annually, making it one of the busiest ferry networks in the world. Passenger vessels are required to undergo at least one annual safety inspection, as well as an out of water hull inspection at least every two years to ensure the integrity of the hull and other critical components. In addition to these scheduled inspections, Coast Guard personnel also conduct unannounced and post-casualty response inspections to ensure compliance with safety standards.
“We know many people rely on these ferries for their daily commutes, and we will continue to work with NY Waterway to ensure sustained compliance with Coast Guard safety requirements. As part of this effort, we will be increasing both scheduled and unannounced inspections of their fleet moving forward,” Capt. Tama said.