U.S. Coast Guard Suspends Water Ferries Over Safety Issues

On Monday, November 25, 2019, the United States Coast Guard shutdown service operations of 23 New York ferries. The suspension was mandated by Coast Guard officials over ever-increasing concerns about safety issues associated with these boats. The shutdown of New York ferries because of serious safety concerns is only the latest problem associated with passenger-carrying boats and ships in the United States. These include everything from the horrific duck boat accident that took the lives of all on board to numerous other calamities involving watercraft in the past year.

The 23 boats that have been suspended from service were all subjected to a series of inspections. The initial inspections of these boats found them all to be “operationally unfit,” according to the Coast Guard. This means that these boats were not safe for use in transporting people along waterways of any type.

The situation with these ferries worsened. The owners of these watercraft were given a set period of time to remedy the problems with these boats. Generally speaking, multiple inspections followed the initial one. At the time of each supplemental inspection, the 23 boats were found to remain operational unfit conditions. In other words, even though the owners the New York ferries were advised of the serious deficiencies and advised of what needed to be done to correct the problems, those responsible for the safety of the boats appear to have done nothing.

It is important to note that during this time period when nearly two dozen ferries were rated operationally unfit – unsafe for passenger travel – the boats remained fully operational. Innocent people continued to board the unfit, unsafe boats each and every day.

All of the 23 ferries suspended from service because they were deemed operationally unfit are owned by one company, NY Waterway. The company owns 32 ferries all together, the remainder still being permitted to operate as of this time. NY Waterway has been in business for 33 years.

As of the time of the suspension due to the ferries being deemed unfit no specific injuries are publicly evident associated with the operational fitness of the vessels.

Injuries on Tour Boats and Related Vessels

The stark reality is that a good many injuries and deaths on cruise ships, tour boats, and similar types of watercraft could be avoided is these vessels were maintained in proper operational condition. The NY Waterway investigation involves nearly three-quarters of that company’s fleet. Thousands of people were being transported on these ferries every month even though they evidently have not been operational fit for some period of time.

Another significant fact associated with watercraft that are carrying tremendous numbers of people every year is that very real issues can exist regarding inspections. There are cases in which proper inspections aren’t occurring in the first instance. There are situations like this one involving nearly two dozen highly used ferries in which one inspection after another revealed the boats were not operationally fit. Despite multiple inspections resulting in the same report, these ferries were permitted to keep operating for a period of time, indeed for what might ultimately be revealed to be an extended period of time.

Finally, there are also instances in which boat operators and owners are evading lawful inspection requirements. In other words, there are operators and owners that know their vessels are out of compliance and very well may present some level of danger to passengers. The point in this rundown about inspections is that a person cannot presume that any type of watercraft has been appropriately inspected.

Protect Your Legal Interests in a Tour Boat Accident

If you or a loved one is injured in some type of accident or incident while on board a passenger and tour boat like the New York ferries, you need to protect your important legal rights. The New York ferries are utilized for both community and touring purposes. The first step in protecting your legal rights is scheduling a consultation with a tour boat accident lawyer at The Doan Law Firm. You can schedule a consultation with a Doan Law Firm tour boat accident lawyer any time of the day or night by calling (800) 349-0000.

There no fee for an initial case evaluation. The Doan Law Firm never charges an attorney fee unless a tour boat accident lawyer obtains a favorable settlement or judgment for a client.