MBTA’s Hingham Ferry Towed to Safety After Getting Stuck in Ice

The Hingham to Boston ferry in its better days before the storms.
The Hingham to Boston ferry in its better days before the storms. –The Boston Globe/Stan Grossfeld

The MBTA’s Hingham ferry became stuck in ice and needed to be towed by Boston Harbor Cruise’s ice-breaking ship into Boston Harbor on Friday morning.

MBTA spokesperson Joe Pesaturo said there were 103 passengers on board the ferry, which left Hingham just after 8 a.m. All passengers arrived safely in Boston before 10 a.m.

Boston Harbor Cruises operates the MBTA’s ferry system in Hingham and Hull. The Hingham line has been closed all week, but opened this morning after a long night of ice breaking from BHC’s vessel Warren Jr., BHC principal and general manager Alison Nolan said.

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Nolan said the plan was for the 150-foot Warren Jr. to escort the Hingham Ferry through an ice-free channel to its destination at Rowes Wharf. But ice encroaching from the sides knocked into the ferry, causing it to lose steerage.

“The ice was pushing the ferry around a little bit, and she didn’t have enough propulsion to push herself forward,’’ Nolan said. “So we attached a line from the Warren Jr. to the ferry, and the Warren Jr. guided [the ferry] through the ice field.’’

The ferry was then towed through the icy section to clearer waters. An 8:30 a.m. ferry departed from Hingham but was turned around not long into its journey.

The Hingham Ferry has been canceled for the rest of the day. Nolan said she was hopeful it would resume service on Monday.

The Coast Guard cutter Pendant and its crew were out breaking ice in Boston Harbor, but its help was not needed.

A spokesman for the Coast Guard 1st District initially said that the Pendant was the vessel that escorted the ferry through the icy waters. In a subsequent call, the Coast Guard clarified that they were mistaken in saying they had helped.

“Basically they thought we were the boat that [helped], but we weren’t,’’ he said.

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The ferry’s morning issues come the same day a story in The Boston Globe detailed the unprecedented level of ice covering Boston Harbor this winter.

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