Ferry stuck on sandbar; 27 evacuated

NEW YORK (AP) — Rescuers worked to evacuate 27 people from a ferry that got stuck on a sandbar on a frigid night Wednesday, the second stranding in a month for New York City’s ferries.

There were no reports of injuries on the rush-hour boat that got stuck around 6 p.m. in Jamaica Bay between Brooklyn and the Rockaway peninsula in Queens.

“The boat stopped on a dime — you can clearly tell we hit something,” passenger Jake Nicholson told the Daily News. He said passengers were initially told that there was a mechanical error, then that the boat had hit a sandbar and that the captain tried to back the boat off it.

Video from a WABC-TV helicopter showed lights on the ferry’s deck glowing amid the dark water on the 20-degree evening.

Firefighters said the ferry owners originally were arranging to have the vessel towed off the sandbar, but an evacuation was getting underway around 7:30 p.m.

A city-sponsored, privately run ferry runs to the Rockaways from lower Manhattan. It’s part of a $335 million effort to ease strains on New York’s public transportation system.

Phone and email messages to the ferry company, Hornblower Inc., weren’t immediately returned.

Last month, more than 100 passengers were rescued from a Rockaways-bound ferry that ran aground off lower Manhattan.

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