Minivan incident alarms SSA motorists

A Philadelphia couple and their dogs were left hanging over a gap between a ferry and a transfer bridge at the Steamship Authority’s Vineyard Haven terminal on Saturday morning.

The Island Home, the SSA’s largest ferry, was removed from the Slip 2 as the couple’s minivan, a Chrysler Pacifica hybrid, boarded the ship. SSA spokesman Sean Driscoll did not explain why Island Home pulled out, but admitted to the incident.

The bridge suffered a cable break on Friday evening, for reasons that are unclear. When asked if the SSA would allow vehicles to cross a bridge the next day with a broken cable, Driscoll said that “some action” had been taken, but essentially, yes, vehicles were allowed to cross a broken bridge. In an email to The Times, no mention was made of cable.

While loading the 9:30 am departure from the MV Island Home on Saturday, November 27, the vessel unexpectedly moved slightly away from the Slip 2 transfer deck in Vineyard Haven as the MV Katama docked in Slip 1, the north. slip into the terminal, “Driscoll wrote.” A passenger car was being driven aboard the MV Island Home at the time. The ship’s crew immediately intervened and pulled other vehicles off the deck. transfer while the vessel was repositioned. Approximately 3 minutes later, the vehicle was able to board the vessel safely and the rest of the loading continued without incident. The Steamship Authority is taking the safety of its passengers and crew crew very seriously and thoroughly investigated the incident, no injuries or damage were reported.

Jim and Marie Logue were leaving for home at the end of their annual Thanksgiving on the vineyard. Marie Logue said she and her husband were driving on the ferry and had to pull over at the top of the transfer bridge as vehicles in front were ordered to park. When her husband tried to pull forward after stopping, the rear wheels started to slip on the bridge. One of the sailors said, “Don’t move! She told The Times.

“As the front end of our car climbed onto the ferry, there was sort of a clicking noise – I don’t know what it was,” Logue said. “I couldn’t back the car, nor go forward. ”

“We really had no idea what was going on,” said Marie. “And then they started in what I would describe as full emergency mode. A whole bunch of them showed up and they were screaming for the cars to back up the ramp… waiting for us saying, Don’t move. And then I looked out the window and I could see water under the car.

Marie said a crew member told her everything would be fine. She remembers someone else saying a cable broke. Jim said he heard that the same cable that broke the night before had “come undone”.

As the van was suspended over the space, Marie said she believed that if the vehicle fell in the harbor, she and her husband could escape, but she was not so sure of their two. dogs.

“Once the cars got off the ramp, you could feel the ramp going up,” said Marie. Jim said it helped stabilize the van.

Someone got on the ferry, Marie said, and got hold of the captain, and the captain pulled the ferry back up to the deck and closed the breach.

“And then we continued,” said Marie. Later, as they were leaving the ferry at Woods Hole, a deckhand said to Marie and Jim, “Hey, you should buy a lottery ticket …”

“I have to say they handled the situation very well,” said Marie. “They were lively. They seemed to know what they were doing. It didn’t seem like it was the first time.

Marie said she contacted SSA by email on Sunday morning: “I didn’t hear anything. Our car was not damaged, but I just want someone to say, we’re sorry that happened. It was terrifying.

Marie also said that no one there explained what happened.

“All of them were beyond excellence,” Jim said of the crew’s response to the emergency.

When asked if it was a scary experience, Jim replied, “Like anything of this nature, your adrenaline goes up a bit.”

Jim described the event as unprecedented in his personal experience. “I’ve been coming to Martha’s Vineyard since June 1957,” Jim said. “Every year of my life, more than once a year most of these years.” At that time, Jim said, “nothing like this ever happened.”

Cable breaks

On Friday, November 26, a cable supporting the transfer bridge at the Steamship Authority’s Vineyard Haven Terminal broke. The incident happened in or around the last race on Friday night, Terminal Officer Leigh Cormie said. At 9.45am Saturday, a two-person SSA crew was at work on the bridge. Cormie said at the time that the repair was moments from the end. “There were no delays or cancellations,” SSA spokesman Sean Driscoll previously told The Times. Driscoll later said the bridge was back in service by noon on Saturday. When The Times inquired about the cable over the weekend, the SSA never mentioned anything about the minibus incident. It wasn’t until the couple contacted the newspaper that the incident came to light. In May 2020, a cable to the same broken transfer bridge and sent a 20,000 pound counterweight block into Vineyard Haven Harbor. This incident nailed the Martha’s Vineyard ferry below deck.

The SSA has been cautious about video footage of this incident, repeatedly refusing to release the footage to The Times. The SSA claimed the images are exempt from disclosure under the state’s public archives law.

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