The US Coast Guard will conduct a damage assessment on the ferry that crashed Friday evening, injuring 15 people as it arrived in Hyannis.
The assessment, which doesn’t have a concrete timeline, will allow authorities to determine the cost of the damage. If the damage exceeds $500,000, the National Transportation Safety Board will aid in the investigation, according to Eric Weiss, a spokesman for the board.
Lieutenant John Mansolillo, a spokesman for Sector Southeastern New England of the Coast Guard, said the damage assessment probably will not answer investigators’ questions about the cause of the crash.
“Assessing damage really can’t prove a cause or effect,” he said. “Just because something’s damaged, you can’t prove what caused the damage.”
Coast Guard officials will also continue to interview crew members, passengers, and witnesses from the crash, Mansolillo said Monday.
The Steamship Authority’s governing board has been regularly updated on the progress of the investigation, including late-night calls from the authority’s general manager, Wayne Lamson, said board chairman Moira E. Tierney.
Tierney referred inquiries about the investigation on Monday to Lamson, but said the two licensed operators in charge of the ferry were “highly experienced and highly trained.”
‘The Steamship Authority makes it really part of their daily practice to keep these people well educated, with the resources that they need,” she said.
Lamson did not respond to requests for comment.
Tierney also voiced her trust in the authority’s professionalism and in its ongoing investigation.
“They will dot all their i’s and cross all their t’s in this investigation,” she said. “They take their responsibility to the public and their employees very, very seriously, and no stone will be unturned in this investigation.”
The Steamship Authority chartered a vessel to replace the one that was damaged, the company said in an advisory posted to its website.
“These trips will have a lower passenger capacity than normal. Reservations are strongly suggested,” the post said.
The modified schedule is available on the official website.
A US Coast Guard spokeswoman declined to comment on the investigation into the crash, adding that an update would be available when the investigation, which is expected to take several months, concludes.Maddie Kilgannon can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @MaddieKilgannon. Felicia Gans can be reached at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @FeliciaGans.