Passengers describe the 300-foot ferry approaching its dock way too fast, not slowing down at all. Seconds before impact, a faint alarm most passengers couldn't make sense of.
"All of a sudden this ferry worker came out and he's yelling brace yourselves, and a second later all of a sudden we had this hard impact, it was like a car crash," Alicia Eason said.
"The impact was unbelievable. You saw your life flash before you," Elizabeth Murdaugh said.
Stunned passengers, dozens of them injured. Several people were placed on gurneys, but none of the injuries were life-threatening. Sheila Forrest, a tourist from Tennessee's first thought was of terrorism.
"It was very scary, it was nerve-wracking. I'm thinking oh my goodness, what is happening in New York now," Sheila Forrest said.
The ferry, the Andrew J. Barbieri, is the same boat that struck a pier in 2003 killing 11 people.
That was blamed on pilot error, while it appears the cause of this crash was a mechanical malfunction.
Officials say the captain couldn't pull back on the throttle as the boat cruised at 6 miles per hour- it was like brakes on a car failing.
"The impact was crazy, I'm still here, and I'm still feeling it. I'm nervous," Jason Watler said.