Thursday, October 16, 2014

Ferry Crashes Into Pier, Passengers Hospitalized

By Mark Edward Nero

The US Coast Guard is investigating an allision that occurred when a passenger ferry struck a piling at Pier 41 in San Francisco the evening of Oct. 12.

The Peralta, operated by Blue & Gold Fleet, allided with a piling while backing out of the terminal at Pier 41 at about 5:45 p.m. Ten passengers sustained minor to moderate injuries, mostly neck and back pain, and were taken to a local hospital for evaluation, according to the Coast Guard.

One passenger told the local ABC affiliate during the accident’s aftermath that children aboard went “flying” around the ferry after the accident. More than 200 people are believed to have been onboard the vessel during the incident.

The Peralta was temporarily taken out of service after inspectors and investigators from Coast Guard Sector San Francisco boarded the ferry, but the vessel was later cleared to be put back into service. No structural damage to the Nichols-built ferry was found, just minor paint damage; damage to the piling at Pier 41 was also found to be minor.

Blue & Gold Fleet, which bills itself as “the Bay Area’s largest and premier provider of tourist attractions,” provides bay cruises, sightseeing tours and private cruises in addition to ferry services. The company’s based at Pier 39 in San Francisco.

Although the cause of the incident is still under investigation, the ABC affiliate reported that the cause has been determined not to be mechanical and that the investigation’s now focused on the crew.