Safety, Security & Policies

ADA Accessibility & Compliance

The IFA is committed to providing safe, reliable, pleasant and accessible travel for all passengers regardless of age or disability pursuant CFR Part 39. The information contained Here is provided as a reference for passengers with disabilities, senior citizens, advocates and service agencies.
The IFA offers a wheel chair accessible van to transport passengers with disabilities, senior citizens, advocates and service agencies between the terminal and vessel. Elevator access is available on IFA vessels, and public areas  and one restroom aboard vessels are wheelchair accessible. Please contact a ticket agent or crewman if you require the wheel chair accessible van or elevator.

Service Animals

The Inter-Island Ferry Authority will operate its vessels so that they are readily accessible and usable for individuals with disabilities in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. It is the policy of the IFA that no qualified individual with a disability shall be excluded from or denied the benefits of, by reason of such disability, travel on IFA passenger/vehicle vessels. This includes the use of service animals by IFA passengers. Individuals requiring the use of a service animal will not be charged extra fees, be isolated from the rest of the passengers or be treated less favorably in any way. If you are traveling with a service animal prior notification is required so that the crew can be prepared to accommodate the passenger and animal.

          Service Animal Definition and Description

Any guide dog, signal dog or other animal (generally a dog) individually trained to do the work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including but not limited to:

  • Guiding individuals with impaired vision;
  • Alerting individuals with impaired hearing;
  • Pulling a wheelchair or fetching dropped items.

The service an animal provides must be directly related to the functional limitation of the person’s disability.

A service animal whose behavior poses a direct threat to the health and/or safety of others or is disruptive may be excluded from this policy regardless of training or certification. If the service animal is loud, not in control of the owner (jumps on people, etc.) or displays threatening behavior (such as growling or biting) the animal may be removed from the passenger area immediately and not allowed on the vessel in the future.

Not all service animals have certification or special identification papers. This documentation IS NOT a requirement to determine if the animal is a service animal. IFA may only ask general questions regarding the passenger’s disability and the service the animal performs for that passenger to make the determination.

In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, animals used for strictly therapy and emotional support animals ARE NOT considered service animals by the IFA.

Safety Onboard

Passenger and crew safety is the IFA’s highest priority, and the IFA adheres to strict safety regulations set out by the U.S. Coast Guard to achieve this priority. The IFA recommends that all passengers inform themselves of where safety equipment and emergency exits are located.  In the event of an emergency, passengers will be briefly informed of the nature of the emergency then instructed by ship’s crew on how to proceed. Click Here to read the safety briefing announced on every voyage. The IFA will provide written materials in alternative formats upon request.


IFA operates under a Security Plan approved by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.  All passengers 18 and over are required to present a valid government issued photo ID prior to boarding the vessel. All vehicles are subject to a search.  Additional security measures
may be imposed.

The Coast Guard has a three-tiered system of Maritime Security (MARSEC) levels consistent with the Department of Homeland Security’s Homeland Security Advisory System (HSAS). MARSEC Levels are designed to provide a means to easily communicate pre-planned scalable responses to increased threat levels. The Commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard sets MARSEC levels commensurate with the HSAS. Because of the unique nature of the maritime industry, the HSAS threat conditions and MARSEC levels will align closely, though they will not directly correlate. MARSEC levels are set to reflect the prevailing threat environment to the marine elements of the national transportation system, including ports, vessels, facilities, and critical assets and infrastructure located on or adjacent to waters subject to the jurisdiction of the U.S.

MARSEC Level 1 means the level for which minimum appropriate security measures shall be maintained at all times. MARSEC 1 generally applies when HSAS Threat Condition Green, Blue, or Yellow are set.

MARSEC Level 2 means the level for which appropriate additional protective security measures shall be maintained for a period of time as a result of heightened risk of a transportation security incident. MARSEC 2 generally corresponds to HSAS Threat Condition Orange.

MARSEC Level 3 means the level for which further specific protective security measures shall be maintained for a limited period of time when a transportation security incident is probable, imminent, or has occurred, although it may not be possible to identify the specific target. MARSEC 3 generally corresponds to HSAS Threat Condition Red.

The Current U.S. Coast Guard Maritime Security MARSEC Level is MARSEC I

Subject to Screening

All persons and vehicles entering the terminal are subject to search. Unaccompanied vehicles, suspicious vehicles and baggage of persons exhibiting suspicious behavior will be screened prior to boarding for incendiary devices, explosives or other implements of destruction, excluding government owned vehicles on official business when government personnel present identification credentials for entry. All ships stores will be inspected for tampering before these items are placed on vessel. Random screening for dangerous substances and devices will be conducted at a rate set by the current MARSEC Directive on ticketed passengers, baggage, personal effects and vehicles seeking to board a vessel.


For the health and convenience of passengers, smoking is only permitted in designated areas on the outside decks and away from doorways.

Seating and Cell Phone Use Courtesies

Kindly refrain from reserving lounge seats to the exclusion of other passengers and from using cell phones in the Forward Observation area.

IFA Comment or Complaint

The General Manager is responsible for receiving and investigating complaints about IFA’s operations or employees. Please Click Here for more information.