A preliminary investigation into a Cape Cod ferry crash that sent 15 people to the hospital has found that the captain mistook a metal pole and two sailboats as buoys, according to the head of Steamship Authority boat line.
General Manager Wayne C. Lamson announced the findings Monday at the Steamship Authority's Board.
According to Lamson, the Iyanough's captain was unable to find a buoy, leading the pilot to rely on radar for navigation.
That, combined with conditions creating 8-foot waves shielding the breakwater from the ferry's radar and the crew's sight, led to the vessel hitting the pole, which is about 800 yards north of the buoy crews were looking for as a marker.
In all, five people were injured and another 10 people could not walk over the breakwater, leading them to be hoisted from the vessel by U.S. Coast Guard. Fifteen people were taken to Cape Cod Hospital and then released, according to Hyannis fire officials.
Fifty-eight people in total were on board the ferry when it hit the pole in the water.
Officials are still determining what repairs need to be made to the Iyanough before it runs again.