The head of the city agency that oversees Mayor de Blasio’s ferry service claimed Tuesday that there is no “underlying issue with maintenance” on the vessels — even though several boats from the NYC Ferry fleet have been pulled out of service due to potentially disastrous leaks.
“I don’t believe there is an underlying issue with maintenance. There are vessels that need to be repaired right now. That is why we’ve taken them out of service,” James Patchett, the president of the Economic Development Corp. told reporters at Manhattan’s Pier 11.
“It is standard practice in the marine industry to take vessels out of service, particularly in lower demand periods to do regular maintenance,” Patchett added. “It’s a part of normal operations. However, we take it seriously.”
Patchett’s comments come a day after one of the ferries crashed into a sandbar and suffered damage to its hull as it took on water, prompting passengers to disembark on two vessels – and follows a Post exposé about major structural flaws in several of the crafts.
Patchett said an investigation into the incident has been launched into Monday night’s crash near Pier 11.
“To us the most important thing is that all of those passengers were brought back safely to Pier 11 and got to their destinations safely last night,” he said.
The Post revealed on Sunday that at least five new boats were taken out of service to fix leaks — and then three other boats were taken out of service Monday when alarms sounded because water was leaking into their bilges.
But both the city and Hornblower, which operates the ferry service, have claimed any holes in their ferries were caused by unrelated, “minor” repairs.