Categories: Bay Area Transit

Coast Guard investigates S.F. ferry crash

The U.S. Coast Guard is investigating the cause of a weekend ferry crash that injured nine people at Pier 43.

A Baylink ferry, which was taking 143 passengers from San Francisco to Vallejo on Saturday, left Pier 41 just after 4:20 p.m. and struck Pier 43 a few minutes later. Three Coast Guard investigators responded to the scene, including one who studied the 110-foot-long vessel’s structure and engine room, according to Coast Guard Lt. John Fu.

The damaged ferry will be out of service until the Coast Guard can approve its repairs, reducing Baylink’s fleet to two ferries. Some passengers riding the ferry Monday will be routed to a bus instead, according to Carolyn Horgan, vice president of operations for the Blue and Gold Fleet, which operates boats for Baylink.

All of the injured passengers have been released from the hospital. “Those we talked to said it was like being in a car accident — they reported whiplash, that kind of thing,” Horgan said.

The captain, Phil Strickland, “lost his steering” shortly before the accident, according to Horgan. The Coast Guard investigation will determine whether human error, mechanical failure, or both, led to the crash.

Strickland has not been suspended. As part of standard procedure, drug and alcohol tests were performed, but those results will not be available for a few days, Fu said.

Some diners at the Franciscan Crab Restaurant, at Pier 43 ½, reported feeling the boat hit the neighboring pier Saturday, according to Craig Woods, the restaurant’s general manager.

“We could see it from the balcony,” Woods said. “It took a chunk out of the pier. I don’t know how he got off course.”</p>

There hasn’t been another ferry accident in the San Francisco Bay in recent memory, Fu said.

bwinegarner@examiner.com

SF Examiner
Share
Published by
SF Examiner

Recent Posts

School board candidates debate solutions to SF’s achievement gap

San Francisco Unified School District’s persistent achievement gap emerged as a hot-button issue — and a “community school” concept offering…

6 hours ago

Those impacted by the War on Drugs still wait for cannabis permits in SF

When Rodney Hampton Jr. was 19 and living in Bayview-Hunters Point public housing, he was arrested by police on an…

7 hours ago

Women in focus at sixth SF Japan film fest

Even though it ran two decades ago when the Asian Art Museum was still squeezed into the side of the…

7 hours ago

San Francisco Giants swept as end of season nears

Halfway through the season, it seemed as if the San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals were on similar paths,…

13 hours ago

San Francisco 49ers’ loss to Chiefs was a costly one, as Jimmy Garoppolo could be done for the season with an ACL tear

By C.J. Peterson Special to S.F. Examiner For the San Francisco 49ers, taking a 38-27 loss to the AFC West-leading…

13 hours ago

Oakland Athletics will have to clinch on the road, Matt Olson homers in loss to Twins

OAKLAND -- While a crowd of just under 37,000 on Saturday night gave the Oakland Athletics some much-needed energy during…

15 hours ago