I’m often amazed watching the docking process of the ferry’s and boats at WDW. Those friendship boat captains are crazy precise with the turning!I used to drive those boats. Definitely likely it was a hard docking. Each ferry has its own temperament and the Potter was known for cavitating and the steering is a 2-3 second delay. Just a question of it being pilot error or mechanical. It was always a delicate balance between coming in slow and safely with the need to counter the wind to stay on course and get into the slip. Most people don’t realize just how much skill is required to drive those things.
From the info so far it sounds like there was a hard landing that 4 people were not prepared for. I always tried to be near the docking end and at one of the posts on that end, lean on post and read my paper riding to the MK, stroll off and enter the kingdom. Same on the return, brace for contact and then stroll off after the crew ties off.The article is updated to say it "struck the landing" not sure exactly what that means. There's really 2 major times when impact is highest risk. The first is upon entering the "dolphins" (the things where everyone throws their change lol). Wind is the primary threat there that can throw off the entrance. Then beyond that, it's stopping before the boat reaches the bumpers where the gangway is.
Also note: this is why they clear the stairs prior to docking. It doesn't take a very hard contact to throw you off your feet.
I don't have any contacts on the inside anymore, but a friend of mine does. Trying to see if I can get details. I'm just curious as it does happen, but not often.
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