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Ferry Service to Fully Resume for the First Time After Crash

By Jess Wisloski | January 13, 2013 1:43pm | Updated on January 13, 2013 8:01pm

PIER 11 — The ferry service company that was involved in a collision while docking last week that left 57 injured will resume its regular schedule for the first time since the January 9 crash.

Seastreak Ferries, which noted on its website that ferry service to Lower Manhattan, including the Highlands, N.J. pickup — where the ill-fated ferry originated — would resume at 6:40 a.m. Monday.

"We resumed normal service," said Tom Wynne, a spokesman for Seastreak. "It's back to normal. We did have to cancel several runs last week because we had one vessel in the shipyard for routine maintenance," he added.

[Editor's note: The company later contacted DNAinfo.com New York to say that service was actually not back to normal, and there were still issues returning to normal service.]

The Seastreak ferry was pulling into Pier 11/Wall Street about 8:45 a.m. Wednesday when it missed its intended slip and slammed into another, slicing its starboard bow, officials said.

Following the crash, in which dozens of the 343 passengers were hospitalized, DNAinfo.com New York revealed that Seastreak LLC had a history of accidents, lawsuits, and bankruptcy.

The National Transportation Safety Board began an investigation last week into the boat's operations, as well as its regulatory compliance and maintenance history, and sources said a mechanical failure may have caused the crash.

Investigators from the NTSB did not interview crew and staff immediately following the crash, saying they needed to rest first. On Thursday investigators announced that the captain, James "Jay" Reimer, who lives in the Highlands, N.J., had tried to slow down the vessel just moments before the crash.

Neighbors said Reimer was a hard worker who loved the sea. "It's nothing to do with him. It has to do with the boat. Something must've happened with the ferry," family friend Lillian Renna, 67, said she thought after the crash.

The NTSB probe may take up to a year to complete, officials said. A spokesperson for the agency did not return calls immediately on Sunday. The agency was still looking for people who witnessed the accident or had photos or videos, and asked for submissions at witness@ntsb.gov.

For more information about Seastreak's ferry service, visit Pier 11's website.

Correction: Seastreak contacted DNAinfo.com New York Sunday night to say plans to resume service as usual were not actually on track as previously stated, and that the company would release an official statement.