New England ferry capt. was confused by sailboat masts, high waves before wreck
HYANNISPORT, Mass. (AP) — Officials say the captain of a ferry couldn't see the breakwater before the vessel crashed June 16 into a jetty in Hyannisport, Massachusetts, leaving 18 people injured.
The Steamship Authority said Tuesday that waves about 5 feet (about 2 meters) high obscured the view that day. The captain later saw the breakwater and conducted a so-called "panic stop."
The Cape Cod Times reported that the captain mistook a pole and two moored sailboats for channel markers, contributing to the vessel striking the rocks.
The ferry Iyanough hit the jetty and grounded on the rocks at the Hyannis Harbor entrance, sending 15 people to the hospital. The vessel was carrying 48 passengers, six crew members and three food service workers.
The authority has said drug and alcohol tests came back negative for the captain and the pilot.
The ferry is expected to be out of service for three to four weeks for repairs.