World News

Passengers Rescued After Ferry Gets Stuck In Sand In Coney Island Channel

Passengers Rescued After Ferry Gets Stuck In Sand In Coney Island Channel

More than two dozen people aboard an NYC ferry that became stranded after hitting a sandbar in Coney Island Channel have been rescued, the NYPD said late Wednesday.

An NYC Ferry spokeswoman said "all other NYC Ferry service continues to operate on schedule and without interruption".

The vessel hit ground in the Rockaway Inlet at about 6:30 p.m. near Rockaway Point Boulevard and Beach 201st Street in Breezy Point, according to fire officials. About 10 minutes into the trip, "we just came to a screeching halt", passenger Jake Nicholson said. He said he was almost tossed over the row of seats in front of him, and his phone ended up a few rows away. Passengers had to get on a ladder, climb onto a tiny boat, then get into a larger boat, all in the elements.

There were 27 people on board the NYC Ferry - 23 passengers and four crew members.

NYPD responders maneuver an inflatable launch at the shallow grounding site
NYPD responders maneuver an inflatable launch at the shallow grounding site

The operator of a New York City ferry that got stuck on a sandbar and took hours to evacuate says the boat apparently went off its usual route, and the company is looking into what happened.

The incident marked the second grounding of an NYC Ferry boat in recent weeks.

"We were riding fine and then it was like someone threw the vehicle in park", Jeffrey Spears said after he was finally back on land just after midnight. The disabled boat was expected to be towed off the sandbar overnight.

The ferry to and from Rockaway is part of a $335 million effort, launched this summer, to use the waterways to ease strains on New York's public transportation system.

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