An NYC Ferry boat struck a sandbar in Coney Island Channel on Wednesday, stranding two dozen passengers for hours in below-freezing temperatures — the second rescue in just a month for the $335 million service.
The boat, named the Flyer, left Rockaway Park at around 5:15 p.m. and hit a sandbar between Breezy Point and Coney Island after 6 p.m., according to a spokeswoman for NYC Ferry.
Jake Nicholson, 21, was riding with friends to a Rangers game when he felt a jolt about ten minutes after the ferry passed the tip of Breezy Point.
“The boat stopped on a dime, you can clearly tell we hit something,” he told the Daily News, while stuck in the channel, adding that they stopped so fast he almost fell over his seat.
NYPD and FDNY boats, along with the Coast Guard, responded to the stuck ferry more than an hour after it left the dock, officials said.
The 27 people, including three crew members, climbed down a ladder in whipping winds and frigid temperatures to board small pontoon boats.
Rescuers then brought a few passengers at a time to a larger FDNY vessel — which was the only way to rescue people without another boat getting stranded.
All of the commuters were off the doomed ferry before 11 p.m. and were brought to Brooklyn Army Terminal — nearly six hours after it first set sail.
NYC Ferry offered free boat rides to Wall St. and Rockaway, or a $50 credit for Uber, for the weary riders.
There were no injuries, and passengers said they made the best of the ordeal despite miscommunication from the Flyer’s crew.
“We were riding fine and then it was like someone threw the car in park,” Jeffrey Spears said after he was finally back on land just after midnight.
It’s the second stranding for the NYC Ferry service, which launched May 1.
On Nov. 27, a Rockaway-bound boat got caught on a sandbar made of construction debris 100 feet off of Pier 11.
Source: Daily News New York