October 17, 2003

Ferry investigation will take "at least a year"

EnglemanSpeaking at a press conference in New York yesterday, National Transportation Safety Board Chairman Ellen G. Engleman said the NTSB investigation of the accident involving the Staten Island Ferry Andrew J. Barberi would take "at least a year."

She noted that the NTSB was the lead agency in the investigation, working on what she termed a "party system" with investigators from the U.S. Coast Guard, the New York City Department of Transportation and other agencies. She noted that investigator-in-charge is Robert Ford, whom she described as a "very experienced marine investigator."

Chairman Engleman said the NTSB investigation would be "thorough, detailed and based on fact, science and data," rather than "supposition, desire or guesswork."

She said that while the NTSB would review transcripts of interviews by other agencies with individuals involved in the investigation [who include assistant captain Richard Smith who was at the helm of the ferry at the time of the crash], the NTSB would also conduct its own interviews, as part of a wide ranging, thoroughgoing investigation.

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