NTSB Safety Video Tackles Passenger Ferry Stairway Hazards

Mike Schuler
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September 9, 2014

NEW YORK – The passenger ferry Seastreak moored January 9, 2013 shortly after allided with pier in Lower Manhattan. U.S. Coast Guard photo

On January 9, 2013, the high-speed ferry Seastreak Wall Streak struck a pier in Lower Manhattan as the vessel attempted to dock, causing serious injury to four people.

The resulting NTSB investigation found that the captain lost control of the vessel while attempting to dock, but a new maritime safety video released by the NTSB actually tackles another aspect of the incident that could have prevented the most serious passenger injuries: stairway safety.

The NTSB report into the January 2013 allision noted that a contributing factor to the severity of injuries, and others like it, was the lack of procedures to limit passenger access to stairwells during potentially high-risk situations such as docking and undocking. Seems like common sense, right? But it’s surprising how often you see it.

Now passengers standing in stairwells will not prevent ferry’s from slamming into piers every now and then, but staying off the stairs during these high-risk times will likely decrease the number of serious injuries when these unfortunate accidents occur. As the NTSB notes in the video: “First one off, last one home!”

Check out the video below:

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