April 1, 1938 On the southeastern coast of Scotland, the steam ferry SS South Steyne was launched in Leith by the shipbuilding company Henry Robb, Ltd.  This vessel was built for Australia’s Port Jackson and Manly Steamship Company and its ferries operations in Sydney. (The South Steyne owes her name to a section of Manly Beach,... Continue Reading →

On January 15, 2009, New York Waterway ferry captain and U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) reservist Brittany Catanzaro and her crew played a crucial lifesaving role for the passengers of an Airbus A320 after that plane had made an emergency landing on the Hudson River. This landing was made necessary because the aircraft (US Airways Flight... Continue Reading →

February 28, 1900 The U.S. Navy vessel USS Dart (YFB-308) was launched at the Mare Island Naval Shipyard (MINSY) at the waterfront city of Vallejo, California. MINSY, which is located 25 miles (40 kilometers) northeast of San Francisco, had been built during the 1850s and was the first U.S. Navy base established on the Pacific... Continue Reading →

February 26, 1925 In the southeast region of Virginia, Captain Albert F. Jester launched a then-innovative type of ferry service on the James River between the community of Scotland in Surry County on the southern bank and historic Jamestown Island (site of the first permanent English settlement in the Americas) in James City County on... Continue Reading →

March 12, 1941 The car ferry S.S. City of Midland 41 made her maiden voyage along Lake Michigan between Manitowoc, Wisconsin, and Ludington, Michigan. (The ferry’s namesake was the city of Midland in central Michigan.) The all-steel vessel, which had been launched the previous September, was constructed by the Manitowoc Shipbuilding Company for the Pere Marquette Railway’s... Continue Reading →

July 20, 1956 On Canada’s Pacific coast, the ferry MV Mill Bay was first placed into service transporting passengers and vehicles across Saanich Inlet and between the communities of Brentwood Bay and Mill Bay on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. W. Glenn “Red” Ryder served as the vessel’s first captain. The ferry was constructed by the... Continue Reading →

In Australia, a record-setting passenger ferry began her maiden voyage. MS Empress of Australia, which was built for and operated by the Australian National Line (ANL), departed Sydney in New South Wales for Hobart in Tasmania amid a great deal of fanfare. “Bright lights, streamers, cabin parties and ship-side crowds heralded the beginning of the... Continue Reading →

The ferry M/S Finnhansa, which had been constructed by the Finnish shipbuilding company Wärtsilä Marine, was launched in Helsinki. The vessel was christened by Sylvi Kekkonen, the wife of longtime Finnish president Urho Kekkonen. Finnhansa was built for Finnlines, a major operator of vessels transporting both passengers and vehicles in the Baltic Sea and the... Continue Reading →

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