In the wake of yesterday's Staten Island Ferry crash, many are wondering why the Andrew J. Barbieri—the ship also responsible for a crash in 2003 that killed 11—is still in commission. The second-oldest ship in the Staten Island Ferry fleet, the Barbieri had engine failure problems on its christening in 1981. The ship was named for a Curtis High School coach who died in 1979, but yesterday his son told the Times, "Papa would be concerned about the ferry. He’d say, ‘If the boat has safety problems, get rid of it.’ ”

Ferry officials insist the reverse thrust failure of yesterday's crash into the dock at St. George terminal wasn't related to the problems of the 2003 crash. The ferry's chief operating officer Capt. James DeSimone told WCBS, "There's no relationship whatsoever. The two of them shouldn't be spoken of in the same breath." The ship received a multi-million dollar overhaul after 2003's crash, and reportedly passed all quarterly inspections in 2009. However, the National Transportation Safety Board is conducting an investigation of the crash. So far they have determined the boat suffered significant damage, and alcohol tests performed on the crew have all come back negative. Drug tests are still pending.

The ship hit the dock at about 5 knots (5.8 mph), injuring 35 of the 270 on board. Those on board reported they were given no warning that the ship was about to crash, even though many could tell it was going faster than it should. Passenger Jose Rivera told the Daily News, "I opened the door to see the front [of the boat] but I didn't see him stopping. I asked, 'Isn't he going to slow down?'" Eventually, someone warned that passengers should brace themselves. "The scene was just chaos," said passenger Ludgy Wu. "Everyone was running around and screaming, and I was just trying not to panic. My whole body is killing me." City lawyers are expected to be flooded with lawsuits related to the crash, with manly likely blaming the city for putting a historically unsafe boat back in the water. Nearly 200 lawsuits were filed after 2003's crash, including one from a man who was found to have not even been on the ferry.

Gov. David Paterson made a surprisingly speedy appearance in Staten Island after the crash, riding the 1:30 p.m. ferry and telling people they "should not even hesitate to use it." Paterson snapped photos with tourists and chatted with passengers, included one who had been on the Barbieri that morning. “My knee hurt a little bit. That was it. People were freaking out. I didn’t really feel the difference," 11-year-old Bruce Mayfield III told the Governor. The Governor's ferry docked at 1:56 p.m. without a hitch.