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Report: Seastreak Captain Says Mechanics to Blame for Ferry Crash

Investigators plan to review damaged vessel today

The captain of the Seastreak ferry told federal investigators that mechanical problems are to blame for the Wednesday crash in Lower Manhattan, according to the Star Ledger.

Capt. Jason Reimer, who has been identified as a local resident, told the National Transportation Safety Board Thursday that the vessel's controls "did not respond" when he approached Pier 1 from Highlands Wednesday morning. The ensuing crash left more than 70 people injured.

"Both diesel engines shut off," National Transportation Safety Board member Robert Sumwalt told the newspaper. 

The Seastreak was recently updated with new engines and a modified propulsion system, the paper reported.

The federal investigators also interviewed Reimer's crew and Seastreak's engineer and are scheduled to inspect the vessel's systems and damage today.

The Safety Board asks any witnesses to the incident to email witness@ntsb.gov.

Sal January 11, 2013 at 07:23 PM
One of the key lessons of good seamanship is to NEVER approach any dock at a speed high enough to do damage to the vessel or crew. Had the skipper slowed down more sooner and earlier to 2 knots or less when he was further away from the dock he would not be front page news now and his company would not be facing a host of law suits. Yes, indeed engines can stall, and forward/reverse shifter cables can break___and those are reasons as to why all good captains approach docks at bare minimum speeds. Just as good automobile drivers begin slowing down long before the get to the red traffic light ahead, just in case they also suffer a mechanical failure with their brakes, rather than rush to red traffic light ahead and hit the brakes hard at the last second and hope they work.
Dan January 11, 2013 at 11:22 PM
100% correct, never approach dock faster than you are willing to hit it.
Tom January 13, 2013 at 09:51 PM
> Just as good automobile drivers begin slowing down long before the get to the red traffic light ahead This is absurd. I am not saying that you should be speeding up when approaching a red light what world are you living in? I'm happy that I am never behind you on the road.
Liz Goldwyn January 15, 2013 at 09:59 AM
I personally know the captain Jason and he is very experienced at his job as captain. 17 years on the job and this is the only problem he had ever since his employment with seastreak. He takes pride in his job and is always on his toes. This is very unfortunate that this accident happened and it will forever change his life. His dedication to his job was flawless and he not only transported passengers back and forth to the city and NJ, but people he grew to know and love over the years. So before people start saying he was to blame for pulling into the dock to quick, put yourself in his shoes. He prevented something that could of been so much worse because of his experience and I'm so proud of him. God Bless Jay and his family during this tough time. Long time friends Barry & Liz Goldwyn
Jill Reimer April 15, 2013 at 07:53 PM
There is something seriously wrong with you, Chick! The speed demon cowboy was WRONG!

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