People inside the Whitehall ferry terminal heard and felt the impact of the Staten Island Ferry Thursday.
"The ferry came, and everything moved from there. Everything moved, everything shake, all the station," said one person.
The Department of Transportation said that the Guy V. Molinari ferry boat left the terminal in Manhattan at 2 p.m.
"I went outside, and I'm looking at the Statue of Liberty," said Phil Prado, a passenger on the boat. "We're not supposed to be here."
Prado said a deck hand told him that the boat had mechanical problems, and officials announced that they were going back to Manhattan.
"I told everybody to get down, just drop to your knees," he said. "There was a guy behind me. We hit the dock. The guy behind me I guess fell on top of me or whatever."
"I wouldn't say that there really was a big shake or a big bang or anything, but it was definitely scraping the dock," said one person.
"The boat hit the wooden pallets and then slammed into the dock," Prado said.
The impact did not apparently damage the ferry, but a foot bridge seemed partially crumpled in spots.
The Department of Transportation said that had officials not told passengers to brace for the impact, there could have been injuries. Prado, though, said that he didn't hear any warnings
"I was shaking for like three hours afterwards," he said. "It was just, it was crazy."
In 2003, 11 people died when the Andrew J. Barberi slammed into a pier at the St. George ferry terminal.
The same ferryboat crashed in 2010, injuring about 50 people.
As for this crash, the NTSB had said that it was monitoring the situation with the Coast Guard.
Regular commuters in Manhattan and on Staten Island said that there were no real delays despite the incident.