Three passengers were injured when the “Martha’s Vineyard” struck a passenger gangway and broke three windows while backing out from the Woods Hole terminal in the night of July 1, 2017. The ferry of the Woods Hole, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Steamship Authority was pulling out of the Woods Hole terminal for its 7:30 p.m. run to Oak Bluffs when it struck one of two manually operated passenger gangways, which was extended beyond the platform.
Three windows on the “Martha’s Vineyard”’s mezzanine deck were broken. Three passengers were injured by broken glass, but none required medical treatment. After stopping to assess the situation, the ferry continued its run to Oak Bluffs and then made its last two scheduled runs for the night, according to the ferry line. But instead of staying in Vineyard Haven for the evening, it returned to Woods Hole without passengers or vehicles and berthed overnight to allow the maintenance crew to cover the broken windows with plywood.
The 6 a.m. trip on July 2 from Vineyard Haven to Woods Hole was canceled. The 5:30 a.m. departure from Vineyard Haven aboard the ferry “Nantucket” was delayed to accommodate the 6 a.m. reservations. Other customers with 6 a.m. reservations were accommodated on the 6:30 a.m. run aboard the “Governor”. Replacement glass will be fabricated and installed on the “Martha’s Vineyard” this week. The gangways in Woods Hole were inspected and the damaged one has been repaired. Both were in service on July 2. Steamship Authority officials did not know whether the gangway did not retract due to a mechanical failure or user error.
The gangways in Woods Hole were inspected and the damaged one has been repaired. Both were in service Sunday, according to the statement.
Steamship Authority officials Sunday said they did not know whether the gangway did not retract due to a mechanical failure or user error.
The incident comes barely two weeks after the Iyanough, the Steamship Authority’s fast ferry, struck the Hyannis breakwater on June 16 while the vessel was making its last trip from Nantucket to Hyannis for the day. The vessel was carrying 48 passengers, six crew members and three food-service workers at the time of the incident; 15 people were taken to Cape Cod Hospital with various injuries.
Although the incident remains under investigation by the Coast Guard, the Steamship Authority last week released an update stating that the ferry’s captain, who has not been named, mistook a metal pole and two moored sailboats as buoys leading into Hyannis Harbor and did not realize his mistake until moments before the vessel crashed into the Hyannisport breakwater.