Press Release #18-056
Wednesday, October 17, 2018
Contact: Scott Gastel/Alana Morales (212) 839-4850
DOT Staten Island Ferry Update
We are saddened to report that the Florida shipyard where two of the newest Staten Island ferries are under construction was devastated last week by Hurricane Michael. All of us at DOT send our thoughts and prayers to all the staff at Eastern Shipbuilding -- as well as to the people of the Florida Panhandle recovering from this terrible storm.
The first aerial photos from Panama City, where Eastern Shipbuilding is based, illustrate that neither of the ferries — the Staff Sgt Michael Ollis and the Sandy Ground — appears damaged. However, our on-site representatives have confirmed that virtually every other structure in the shipyard was lost, either completely or partially. The shipyard has lost electricity, and many Eastern employees have lost their homes.
The first Ollis boat was scheduled to arrive in New York harbor at the end of 2019, but given current reports, we anticipate delays. The shipyard is insured, and under our construction contract, DOT is not liable for any damages. Work crews on site at the shipyard have this week begun clearing debris. With our ability to maintain the existing Staten Island Ferry fleet, DOT anticipates absolutely no interruption in ferry service as a result.
We expect more specific detail about those delays in the weeks ahead. Thank you.