The weekend started off with a bang for passengers on a Cape Cod high-speed ferry that left Nantucket and was headed for Hyannis, Massachuestts, on Friday night. At about 9:30 p.m., the ferry passengers had an abrupt ending to their journey when the Ferry Iyanough hit the jetty and was grounded on the rocks as it was making its way into Hyannis Harbor.
The wind was blowing and the ocean was rough, which added some risk to the rescue effort of the passengers. According to CBS News Boston, the Coast Guard rescued a total of 55 people, with 15 suffering injuries in the crash.
There were 13 passengers, one member of the crew, and one food service staff who suffered various injuries when the crash sent everyone on board in a forward thrust. Officials who reported on the accident to the media did say that none of the injuries were life-threatening.
The Coast Guard helicopter airlifted five of the injured from the ferry, along with another 10 passengers. Rescue boats from local agencies as well as the Coast Guard took the remaining passengers to the shore, but this was not an easy task as the rough seas made the rescue efforts rather difficult, according to reports coming from the officials.Passengers who talked with reporters waiting in Hyannis described the "huge jolt" that shook the entire boat as it came to an abrupt stop. Kane Barton, who happened to be a sleeping passenger at the time the ferry hit the jetty, said he looked around and he could see that "everyone flew forward."
He grabbed a life vest and walked outside onto the ferry's deck, where he could see that people had fallen down and were on the floor of the deck. Barton said some were bleeding from hitting their heads when they fell. It was at this time that things seemed to turn to chaos, said Barton.They had no idea what happened, but they knew they were stranded at the time. The Coast Guard worked through the night and a tugboat was deployed to pull the ferry off the jetty's rocks and bring it into port once everyone was taken off the stranded ship.
The ferry has two licensed operators on board at all times, cites CBS News. It is operated by the Massachuestts Steam Ship Authority. The investigation is underway putting the pieces together so the cause of this accident is found. While the operators were tested for substances and alcohol, officials do not believe this was a factor in the accident.
The two operators on board the Iyanough are very experienced. Between the two they have 60 years of experience, reported CBS News.
[Featured Image by CHITOSE SUZUKI/AP Images]