Ferry's Bow Trapped Under Pier, Passengers Safe
On Thursday afternoon, the hydrofoil ferry Masaccio struck its dock in the harbor of Stromboli, the Aeolian Islands, and got its bow trapped beneath the pier.
49 passengers and plus crew were onboard and were safely rescued with assistance from local police and citizens. The stern of the vessel was near the beach, allowing rescuers on shore to hold an inflatable raft steady for passengers to safely hop from the ferry to the raft; others swam. A coast guard helicopter also responded to monitor the scene.
Heavy wind and waves were cited as a contributing factor in the incident.
The vessel's operator has already replaced her in the service with the hydrofoil Antiochus, ensuring uninterrupted transit between Milazzo, Stromboi and Lipari.
The coast guard and police are still investigating the cause of the incident; the extent of damages to the vessel and the salvage plan have not yet been determined.
The vessel's operator issued a statement thanking the local residents who helped evacuate passengers from the damaged ferry. "Libertylines thanks all those who have lent their relief work, help and assistance, and apologizes to passengers for the inconvenience caused by force majeure events," the firm said.
A full selection of photos of the incident may be found here.