Block O'Toole & Murphy
New York Personal Injury Lawyers
For a Free Consultation Call
212-736-5300 212-736-5300

May 2010 Archives

Bringing Attention to Boat Safety Week in Light of Recent Tragedies

That time of the year is once again upon us. With Memorial Day just around the corner the summer boating season has arrived. In just a few short weeks, the season will be in full swing, with all the excitement and anticipation the season has to offer. However, while boating season brings good times and fond memories, inevitably it also brings preventable accidents and senseless tragedies.

Another Staten Island Ferry Crash Haunts Innocent New Yorkers

It is unlikely that there are any New Yorkers who are not aware of the Staten Island Ferry crash of October 15, 2003, which claimed the lives of 11 people and injured 70 others. On that date, the Staten Island Ferry vessel Andrew J. Barberi slammed full-speed into a concrete pier while en route to the St. George ferry terminal in Staten Island. The Andrew J. Barberi, by far the largest boat in the Staten Island ferry fleet, is massive - 310 feet long, 3,335 tons, capacity of 6,000 passengers. There were approximately 1,500 passengers on board that day in 2003. The crash occurred when the ferry’s pilot, Richard Smith, lost consciousness while at the ship’s controls, due to ingestion of prescription and over-the-counter medication. The rule requiring that two qualified pilots be in the wheelhouse at all times was violated by the crew on board that day. Adherence to this rule could have prevented the incident or at least lessened its severity. Innocent lives were at risk because of the dubious decisions of a few New York City employees.