Apr 21, 2023 | News Story

‘Power of Teamwork’: Staten Island Ferry Crew Honored for Heroic Efforts During Fire Aboard Sandy Ground

Members of the Staten Island Ferry crew who sprung into action when the Sandy Ground boat caught fire during an evening commute in late December have been formally recognized for their heroic, live-saving actions. On Friday, the Marine Engineers Beneficial Association (MEBA), which represents many of the Staten Island Ferry’s crew members, hosted an award ceremony at Beso in St. George to honor the 16 brave people who successfully evacuated nearly 900 passengers from the Sandy Ground vessel after a fire broke out in the engine room on Thursday, Dec. 22.

The crew members were presented with Certificates of Valor from MEBA, in addition to proclamations from the New York State Senate, New York State Assembly and New York City Council for their heroic actions.

“The crew onboard the Sandy Ground on Dec. 22 put their safety aside and delivered our precious cargo, the passengers, home without incident and home for the holidays,” said Roland Rexha, secretary treasurer for MEBA and former shop steward at the Staten Island Ferry. “The crew’s quick and valiant efforts were a remarkable testament to the power of teamwork, vast experience and collaboration, as passengers were kept informed during the crisis and guided to safety with no serious injuries.”

State Sen. Jessica Scarcella-Spanton said that the crew’s heroic actions highlight the need for New York City to resolve a longstanding contract dispute with the union that has left MEBA members without a raise since 2010. “It’s not enough as elected officials to just say thank you and show up to these things and hand out awards," she said. "It’s also important that you know your elected officials are here for you in supporting the fair contract that you all deserve.” Read more in the Staten Island Advance!