Honorable Deborah Hersman, NTSB Board Member

Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman
Opening Statement
Marine accident report
Allision of Passenger Ferry Andrew J. Barberi
with St. George Terminal
Staten Island, New York, May 8, 2010
(As Prepared for Delivery)


I want to thank my fellow Board members for their participation today.

In closing, I want to recognize the outstanding efforts of the NTSB staff members who worked on this accident investigation and developed this thorough and excellent report - in particular, the staff from the Office of Marine Safety and from the Office of Research and Engineering. Investigator-in-Charge, Eric Stolzenberg, and his team did an outstanding job.

Our role is to investigate accidents, determine what happened, and make recommendations to prevent future accidents. It isn't often that we complete an accident investigation and have positive things to report. Yet, in this accident, while something failed - a mechanical part - so much succeeded, thanks to the New York City Department of Transportation Ferry Division's active leadership to make key safety improvements and put a safety management system in place.

Andrew J. Barberi was perhaps Staten Island's greatest football coach and developed generations of players. What better tribute to him than to focus on improving safety through an SMS. Continuously striving to learn and be better - those are great goals and require commitment every day from everyone at every level of an organization. We saw a renewed commitment to safety in our investigation. I think Coach Barberi would call that a win.

We stand adjourned.