By:   Charles R. Lipcon

ferry-accident-lawyerWith an impressive 187 years of combined maritime and admiralty law experience, Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A. is the leading maritime litigation law firms operating out of the United States, and worldwide. In addition to representing countless clients in cruise ship injury claims, Jones Act claims and drowning accidents,  we also represent clients who have been injured on ferries or have lost loved ones in ferry-related accidents.   

Ferries tend to be slow-moving vessels that usually cross rivers and other navigable waterways. Because of this, many passengers fail to see the dangers involved in riding a ferry. At LM&W, P.A., however, we make certain to keep abreast of ferry and other types of vessel accidents, and we’ve learned that injuries aboard ferries are more common than one would think. If you or a loved one have been injured while a passenger aboard  a ferry, contact the hardworking maritime law attorneys at Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A. Our firm works on a contingency basis, so our clients don’t have to pay us a penny unless we make a successful monetary recovery.  Call today and put our experience to work for you and your family. 

High-Profile Ferry Accidents

The following high-profile ferry incidents occurred within the last several years. All but one resulted in the deaths of one or more passengers. 

26 Die in Ferry Accident in Bangladesh 

April 4, 2021 – Last month, 26 passengers died when a Bangladeshi ferry struck a cargo vessel in the Shitalakhsya River, according to Reuters. The ferry was carrying 50 passengers and had just departed from the Narayaganj industrial district. Many of the passengers were able to swim to shore, but 21 bodies were recovered inside of the vessel. While it is unclear from the reporting as to whether or not the vessel was overcrowded, there was a rush to get out of the city due to a proposed weeklong CoViD-19 lockdown that was announced by the government. Bangladesh is notorious for lax safety standards when it comes to ferries, which are a major source of transportation in the country. It would be difficult to determine fault from the reporting since it is unclear which vessel had the right of way. There does seem to be a lack of safety precautions on these necessary transport vessels, such as life jackets and lifeboats.   

Ferry Carrying Cars and Passengers Capsizes Next to Pier

February 20, 2021 – Many cities allow cars to be transported on their ferries, but the weight disparity can cause difficulties for the vessels, depending on how they are packed. Last February, improper ballasting due to automobiles is the reason that a ferry in Indonesia capsized as it left the dock. At the time of the reporting, all passengers were believed to have survived. It’s unlikely that all of the passengers disembarked without injury. The proper packing of the ferry is the responsibility of the owner and operator of the vessel  in these cases.  Notably, we have successfully handled cases involving injured Indonesian crewmembers.   

2017 Martha’s Vineyard Ferry Accident Leads to Multiple Settlements

June 2017 – Two seamen smashed the Steamship Authority’s fast ferry into a 3,000-foot stone breaker wall. While no one died in the accident, there were numerous significant injuries,. Nine of the 17 personal injury claims and the Federal Government settled during mediation. According to the Cape Cod Times, about half of the available insurance proceeds went to the government for the repair of the jetty, leaving the other half to be split among the injured.  .  Numerous other  passengers have outstanding claims, including that of plaintiff Bonnie Glasheen whose injuries have prevented her from being licensed by the Coast Guard.  From a liability perspective, this is an extremely strong case against the owners of the barge, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Steamship Authority.   

Ferry Accident in NYC 

May 14, 2021 – Another ferry accident recently made headlines in New York City. Flooding tides were blamed for pushing a passenger ferry up against a docked barge. The impact shattered windows and sent passengers scrambling for their life jackets. While no passengers  reported injuries at the time of this article, the incident serves as a reminder of how dangerous traveling on the water can be. 

Experienced Ferry Accident Attorneys 

You don’t have to be involved in a capsized vessel or boat crash to have a claim. If you were injured on a ferry, you should consult with an experienced maritime attorney to determine whether you have a compensable claim. Other types of ferry accidents include slip and fall, passenger assault, person overboard, being struck with a falling item, just to name a few. Since 1971, we have literally seen it all.  Let us put our experience to work for you.  Don’t hesitate to call Lipcon, Margulies & Winkleman, P.A. to discuss your claim. All consultations are free.