Recommendation for a safety checklist for ferries is stalled

In 2003, the Staten Island ferry Andrew Barberi crashed into a pier on Staten Island, killing 11 and injuring dozens. The person at the helm had blacked out and left the ferry unmanned as it made its way toward the pier.

In May 2010, the ferry once again crashed into a pier, this time because the propulsion system stopped working, according to NTSB preliminary investigations.

The 2003 accident spurred a recommendation for a safety checklist that would have included a thorough medical background check of the worker who blacked out on the job. The NTSB would like to see that recommendationapplied to all U.S. commercial passenger vessels, including ferries.

In 2010, that recommendation remains unaddressed. Accidents that could have been prevented continue to add up. Many Americans are boarding boats every day that have no regular safety checkup.

Because the investigation into the 2010 accident is still underway, it’s unknown whether a safety management system would have prevented it — but it probably wouldn’t have hurt.

Do you have a story about being a ferry accident, or know someone who does? Do you use the Staten Island ferry or another ferry system regularly? Do you feel safe?

Get in touch with reporter Ariel Zirulnick ( if you would like to share your experiences with this topic.

Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.