Monday, December 22, 2014

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New Engine Data From Crashed Ferry Could Shed Light On Accident

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TWC News: New Engine Data From Crashed Ferry Could Shed Light On Accident
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As the National Transportation Safety Board continues its investigation into the Lower Manhattan ferry crash that injured dozens of passengers Wednesday, it's discovered a new tool that could help them find out what caused the accident. NY1's Polly Kreisman has the story.

The investigation into Wednesday's ferry accident remains in its earliest stages, but investigators now have a tool that may help them figure out what happened in the moments leading up to the crash.

The high-speed ferry shuttling passengers from New Jersey made a hard landing at Pier 11 in Lower Manhattan, injuring about 90 people, 11 seriously.

National Transportation Safety Board member Robert Sumwalt says a first look at the vessel revealed that engines on the Seastreak Wall Street ferry have a data recording feature. The engine's manufacturer will help investigators access that information.

"It's possible that this data source always was there but it's used for engine health monitoring, not for accident investigation," Sumwalt said. "We are going to take a non-conventional source, used for something else, and see what we can learn from it for accident investigation purposes."

During his interview with the NTSB, the captain at the time of the accident, Jason Reimer, said he was unable to put the ferry in reverse when he tried to dock and the engines later died.

Investigators say Reimer was very experienced and even conducted the sea trials after its recent engine and propulsion system upgrade.

In addition to the information from the data recorder, investigators hope the video from two closed circuit TV cameras in each of the two engine rooms will shed some light on what happened.

Investigators are asking anyone with video or photos of the accident to contact them as soon as possible by email at

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