Official: Ferry boat hit well-known pile field

- A backup boat that has run NYC Ferry's Wall Street-to-Rockaway route many times before hit a sandbar made of old pylons on Monday night. Officials said that all the captains are well aware of that sandbar. So what went wrong?

Passengers did not expect that kind of commute. The rockaway-bound ferry had just pulled out of pier 11 near wall street when it struck the pylons about 100 feet from the shore. The hit caused the ferry to take on water. The Coast Guard, NYPD, and FDNY responded. Crews set up water pumps to keep the vessel afloat.

Video taken inside the boat shows passengers in life jackets as the FDNY moved in to help. Almost two hours later, all 114 passengers, six crew members, and a dog were brought back to shore.

Some passengers said the crew waited too long to call 911. President James Patchett of the Economic Development Corporation, which oversees the ferry service, said the EDC will look into the crew's response as part of a full investigation. He also said the pile field in the East River has been there for a long time and is well-known.

Patchett said the boat involved in the accident, Zelinsky, is a backup vessel owned by ferry operator Hornblower and it was brought in the relive boats that are out of service.

Fox 5 reported that new boats owned by NYC Ferry were taken out of service because of concerns with hull corrosion.

The Coast Guard supervised the removal of the stranded boat and is also investigating the accident.

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