Five miles off the coast of Massachusetts, a passenger ferry was hit by a rouge 20-foot wave, breaking windows and disabling the vessel. The wave damaged the ferry’s generator and one of the ferry’s crew members was taken to Massachusetts General Hospital with minor injuries, according to Boston Herald on Aug. 14.
The commuter ferry travels from Provincetown, at the tip of Cape Cod, to Boston. The boat was stuck about five miles off the coast of Scituate, reports WHDH Boston today. The wave seemingly came out of nowhere and just left the boat sitting dead in the water with 42 passengers on board on Wednesday afternoon, reports the Boston Globe.
Passengers described the ordeal as “the boat sort of tips down in the water, almost as if it was going to flip over,” said Ariel Shurm, 22, of Boston. He was returning back to Boston after a family vacation on the Cape. The seas weren’t unusually rough, but all of a sudden a “green sheet of water” came barreling toward the ship. It hit the ship, doing most of the damage to the captain’s level, which sits 20-feet above the water line.
The crew passed out life-jackets and panic set in with one woman screaming “the boat is sinking,” according to Mail Online today. Water was rolling down the walls in the cabin area of the vessel and people were scared. This is not an area accustomed to waves big enough to tip over a boat of this size and people who frequent the ferry know this, making this wave event a bit out of the norm and frightening for them.
There was initial panic on board when the wave hit, but because they were stuck out in the water with little to do, Shurm, who is a Berklee College of Music student, whipped out his trumpet and gave an impromptu concert for the stranded passengers. Shurm plays the trumpet for the popular local Boston rock band The Interlopers, tried to calm the passengers with his music and it seemed to do the trick!
At one point he played the theme to “Jaws” just as a joke. He also said he played a lot of “ocean-themed stuff.”
Coast Guard officials confirmed that the passenger ferry was hit by a large wave rendering the vessel “briefly disabled.” The incident happened a little after 4 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon. The ferry is owned and operated by the Bay State Cruise Company.
The Coast Guard dispatched a 47-foot motor life boat along with an 87-foot cutter out to the stranded ferry to assist in restoring the generator, which was knocked out when the wave hit, according to the Boston Globe. Once fixed, the boat continued on to its original destination to its dock in the Seaport District in Boston. It arrived around 7 p.m., a few hours later than usual.
One person was transported to Massachusetts General Hospital with injuries, but no further information on what those injuries were was made available.