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Volume 32, Issue 3

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Thursday, 22 November 2007 01:11

New York Ferry Accident Sends Groups Into Action

Written by  Debora Gilbert

On Wednesday, Oct. 15, 2003, a half-full Staten Island commuter ferry – named after legendary New York high school football coach Andrew J. Barberi – neared its destination a short nautical distance across the Upper New York Harbor from New York City’s Manhattan Island on a sunny, windy afternoon. Passengers crowded near the lower fore deck in order to be among the first off after the boat docked and lowered its ramp, eager to get home from the business or errands that had taken them into the city. Residents of Staten Island enjoy an idyllic commute from their comparatively suburban island and are doubly blessed because it doesn’t cost them a penny. Many are such regular passengers they claim favorite seats along the outer perimeter of the ferry chosen to best enjoy the awe-inspiring urban scenery across the water. That day, the ship – which carries 1,500 people at peak hours –