Steamship Authority General Manager Wayne Lamson today provided additional information on the June 16 allision of the high-speed ferry MV Iyanough with the Hyannis Harbor breakwater.
Addressing the SSA’s Board at the regular monthly meeting, Lamson said the preliminary findings of the Authority’s investigation indicate the Captain and Pilot were hampered by limited visibility because of wind, rain, fog, and eight foot seas. Lamson says what the Captain interpreted on the radar as Buoy 4, which is located a few hundred yards south of the channel entrance, was actually the metal pole at the end of the breakwater, 800 yards north of Buoy 4.
Lamson says the breakwater, itself, was not visible on radar because it was obscured by eight foot waves. In addition, what the Captain had interpreted to be Buoys 5 and 6, which mark the 240-foot wide entrance into the channel, were actually sailboats located on the other side of the jetty. It wasn’t until the Captain turned starboard to enter the channel that he saw the breakwater dead ahead and administered the “panic stop” as trained to do.
Lamson says the Steamship Authority’s investigation into the incident continues and the official investigation by the U.S. Coast Guard continues as well.
Fifteen people were injured, two seriously, when the Iyanough slammed into the breakwater. The vessel is currently undergoing repairs in Fairhaven.