Captain of Ferry Mistook Masts for Buoys


The captain of the “Iyanough” that ran into a jetty in Hyannis mistook sailboat masts for guide buoys, according to a report from the company.

What happened?

A report on the investigation was presented to the Steamship Authority meeting, though the Coast Guard was conducting an independent investigation of the incident. According to the company, the rough seas and low visibility led to problems with locating direction buoys as the ferry began to navigate into Hyannis Harbor.

The report blamed rough seas for obscuring the jetty on radar and noted when the captain realized the jetty was just ahead, he engaged the emergency stop function on the ship. Full report of General Manager Wayne C. Lamson to the Members of the Woods Hole, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Steamship Authority on the Accident Involving the Authority’s High-Speed Ferry, the M/V Iyanough June 27, 2017 As everyone knows by now, at 9:35 in the evening of Friday, June 16th, the Iyanough had an allision with the Hyannis Harbor breakwater.

Crew members onboard ship safe:

“The vessel was traveling from Nantucket to Hyannis on its last trip of the day. There were 48 passengers, 6 crew members, and 3 food service workers on board the vessel at the time of the incident. On behalf of the Steamship Authority, I again want to thank the Coast Guard, all of the local first responders, the crew of the helicopter from Air Station Cape Cod, and the Iyanough’s crew and passengers who made the ferry’s evacuation safe and orderly under adverse conditions. Our concerns are first and foremost for the safety and well-being of our passengers and crew, and we deeply appreciate the efforts of all who guided them safely to shore.”

The Coast Guard hoisted 5 injured passengers off of the ferry, as well as 10 other people who could not walk over the breakwater. The remaining passengers and crew were taken off the ferry to shore by boat. Acting Hyannis Fire Chief Dean Melanson has indicated that 15 people were brought to Cape Cod Hospital for various injuries, none of which were said to be life-threatening. All of the injured passengers and crew members were treated and released from the hospital.

No environmental damage:

Despite the impact of the allision, the Iyanough’s fuel tanks remained intact and there was no environmental damage as a result of the incident. The following morning, we were able to free the vessel from the breakwater and take it to the Hyannis terminal. Later that day, the vessel left under its own power to Fairhaven Shipyard so that it could be inspected to determine what repairs are needed before it can be placed back into service.

Investigation launched:

The Coast Guard is conducting an investigation of the incident, which includes interviews with the crew to determine its exact cause. We are also investigating the accident and, although our investigation is continuing, our preliminary findings include the following: The Iyanough departed from Nantucket at 8:45 that evening bound for Hyannis.

Rescue hampered by weather conditions:

The winds were reported to be strong from the SSE at approximately 30-35 knots and visibility was diminished by intermittent rain and fog. The crossing itself was uneventful. As the vessel approached the “HH” navigation buoy which is located about 2,500 yards south of from the entrance to the main channel for Hyannis Harbor security calls were made and the buoy was logged.

Therefore, the Captain did not detect anything unusual about the vessel’s approach into Hyannis channel until, after adjusting the vessel’s course to begin its entrance into the channel, he saw the breakwater in front of the vessel and administered the “panic stop” as trained. As far as we have been able to determine, all of the vessel’s navigation and mechanical systems were properly functioning that evening.

Docked for repairs:

The Iyanough is expected to be out of service for 3-4 weeks for repairs and sea trials before being cleared by the Coast Guard to return to line service. We are looking at somewhere around July 21st as a likely return date based on where we are currently with the ongoing hull repairs.

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Source: Boston 25 News


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