Over 20 NY Waterway ferries grounded amid safety inspections
The Coast Guard announced Sunday it suspended two dozen of New York Waterway's commuter ferry fleet over the past week, after inspections found the vessels to be "operationally unfit."
Of 32 vessels, 23 had "damage or discrepancies significant enough to warrant suspension of service," according to a written release from the Coast Guard's New York office.
Petty Officer John Hightower said the issues involved fire and emergency safety systems.
"While they weren't things that would be an immediate danger to passengers they were vital systems in case of an emergency that would be important to mitigate damages," Hightower said.
The Coast Guard said that after its inspectors found "multiple discrepancies" during routine inspections over the past two weeks they inspected the entire fleet, including 21 vessels alone on Saturday, according to the Coast Guard.
Inspections to the ferries continued over the weekend and as of 3 p.m. Sunday afternoon, eight of the watercraft had been reinspected and put back into service.
“The safety of the public is our top priority, and we expect our ferry operators to uphold the highest standards,” Capt. Jason Tama, commander of Coast Guard Sector New York, said.
"New York Waterway apologizes for the inconvenience. We will get this fixed quickly," NY Waterway spokesman Smith said.
Smith said while commuters could expect "minor delays" on Monday, all customers will get service.
"Most customers will not experience any inconvenience on Monday," Smith said, adding that they will run a "less robust schedule."
NY Waterway has ten terminals in New Jersey, from the Belford section of Middletown in Monmouth County to terminals in Jersey City, Hoboken, Weehawken and Edgewater, with service to Manhattan.
The company also runs ferry service in the lower Hudson Valley, as well as land shuttle service.
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