Boston Ferry Collision
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July 10, 2007

T Commuter Ferries Crash in Boston Harbor - No Injuries

At 7:30 this morning, two MBTA commuter ferries, "Massachusetts" and "Laura," collided in the Reserved Channel. Neither boat took on water and no one was hurt.

"Massachusetts," headed from Hingham to Boston, carried 171 passengers. Only four crew members were on "Laura," which was making the return trip from Boston to Hingham. The reverse commute to Hingham in the morning is a lonely one.

According to Coast Guard Petty Officer Zach Zubricki, the crash is currently being attributed to "terrible" foggy conditions.

Commuter ferries are privately owned and operated under contract by the MBTA. Last year, the service ridership was up to 4,500 passengers per day.

Interesting that an intrepid Boston Globe reporter figured out that AIS transponders might have prevented two Boston ferries from hitting each other in thick fog yesterday morning. This is the sort of thing that promotes public awareness of a valuable safety technology, and perhaps will encourage the FCC, USCG, etc. to move expeditiously on approving Class B and mandating its use on such vessels (or argue that Class A is worth the cost). On the other hand, operator error can not be ignored. Heck, these two boats both work for the MBTA. Wouldn’t you think that they’d know where each other was and be in VHF contact? Not that we all aren’t capable of mistakes. I’ve often thought that running ferries must be a particularly hard gig as the tendency to get lax must be major. (Thanks for the head’s up to Doran, who can, on a good day, float you over bustling Boston Harbor.)

A passenger ferry boat carrying 151 morning commuters from Boston to Hingham collided with another alternate route
vessel in heavy fog in the Boston Harbor. No serious injuries were reported and officials with the Massachusetts Bay
Transportation Authority were not expecting any service delays due to the mishap.

The 101-foot ferry boat Laura was heading from Hingham to Boston when it collided with a passenger packed ferry
boat named Massachusetts at about 7.30 am. There Laura was only carrying four crew members at the time of the
None of the passengers aboard the boat Massachusetts was seriously injured, but both vessels suffered significant
damage. The Coast Guard is investigating the cause of collision, but an official pointed out that heavy fog in the harbor
could have impaired the visibility of the crew.
"The fog is thick and visibility is terrible," Coast Guard Petty Officer Zach Zubricki told the AP. The collision occurred in
an area called the Reserved Channel near South Boston. Emergency medical services met the Massachusetts at Rowe's
Wharf, Zubricki said.
Both ships involved in the collision are owned by private companies and were running under contracts with the
Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority for commuter services.