msnbc | May 08, 2010
>>> own car?
>>> let's take another look and update the breaking news here with new pictures from the st. george terminal there of the staten island ferry . this is on the staten island side of new york harbor across which the ferry runs countless times every day, and has safely for many years. there was a fatality related accident back in 2003 . another accident with a ferry oning into the dock in july of last summer, not a fatality there. 15 people with minor injuries. today the sum total is yet to be heard. 37 people injured, reports of one having been seriously injured. but as we get a look at what happened here, the why behind it remains to be seen. let's get to petty officer third class barbara miller from the u.s. coast guard who joins us on the phone right now. officer, can you tell us what you know about this incident? when it happened, and what precipitated it?
>> good morning. yes. the coast guard is responding to the staten island ferry after it struck the pier at the st. george terminal. we have sent a seem of investigators and inspectors to the terminal to determine exactly what happened. it was reported that the andrew j. barberry lost propulsion and struck the pier. there was damage to the facility and boat. as we understand, there were 252 passages, 18 crew members, and 17 reported injuries. there were no reports of pollution, and we have a coast guard boat crew on scene just in case.
>> do we know petty officer miller, if everybody has been taken off of that boat?
>> as far as i know, all the passengers have been disembarked, and they are being seen by local ems. as far as what their conditions and the reports of their injuries, we'll have to refer you to the local emergency medical services teams that are on-scene.
>> can you just clarify layman terms , when something is loose in propulsion, does that mean the engines were not functioning?
>> it can indicate that, yes. it could indicate there is a situation which caused the ferry to not respond when the operator was trying to maneuver it. i can't speculate too deeply into what that could mean, because again, the situation is under investigation.
>> okay. something comes to mind last summer, i'm sure you're aware of the july incident last summer in which 15 people were injured when there was some sort of a faulty transformer, something that by my accounts reading into this right now, usually is supposed to last about 15 years, that needed to be checked. but in terms of -- how about the weather with this? can you describe the seas right now? is everything fine? might that have played into this incident at all?
>> you know, my office building is in manhattan, and i can look across the harbor and see that the water appears to be very calm, at least over on our side. i can't speak, because i am not at the ferry terminal over there, about how it looks. but again, being that this is under investigation, we are going to take into consideration any number of factors. right now, the report was a loss of propulsion, but we'll certainly take a look at environmental factors that may have contributed to this.
>> all of the hall marks of a good investigation. petty officer first class barbara miller, thank you for your time here on msnbc saturday.
>> not a problem. thank you.
>>> we'll take a short break