NYC Ferry on sandbar near Rockaways was 'off route': Official

An NYC Ferry that got stuck after running into a sandbar off the Rockaways Wednesday night was not on its planned route when it ran aground, according to operator Hornblower.

An investigation has been launched into how the ferry carrying 27 people wound up on the sandbar in the area of Rockaway Point Boulevard and Beach 201st Street near Breezy Point around 6 p.m. The ferry had departed Rockaway at 5:15 p.m. and it took several hours to get everyone onto land.

“First and foremost, our focus is always on the safety of our riders, and we truly appreciate the support of the U.S. Coast Guard, FDNY and NYPD for their assistance with safely transporting our riders off of the vessel last night,” Cameron Clark, senior vice president of NYC Ferry operated by Hornblower, said. “While preliminary information indicates the vessel was off route, that’s something investigators will look at during the investigation.”

According to FDNY Chief of Special Operations John Esposito, the rescue operation involved moving the passengers from the ferry onto a small fireboat, then onto a medium boat before they were able to board a 140-foot fireboat that took them to shore.

“It was difficult because they had to climb down a 12’ straight ladder, down the back of the ferry, onto our boat, then transferred onto several different boats, Esposito said in a statement. “It was a very slow, tedious, time-consuming operation, with safety in mind.”

For their trouble, the passengers will receive a yearly NYC Ferry pass, a dinner and movie package at iPic Theatre in the South Street Seaport and a $50 Uber credit, according to the ferry operator. Several people aboard who had tickets to Wednesday’s Rangers game at Madison Square Garden will also be reimbursed the value of their tickets and NYC Ferry will book them for a future game.

An NYC Ferry spokeswoman said all other ferry service Wednesday night operated on schedule.

With Nicole Brown


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