updated 5/6/2006 10:15:47 PM ET 2006-05-07T02:15:47

Nine people suffered minor injuries when a ferry crashed into a pier in a bustling tourist area Saturday, authorities said.

The Baylink ferry, carrying 138 people, plowed into Pier 43 in the city’s Fisherman’s Wharf district around 4:20 p.m., according to city fire officials.

The boat had just left Pier 41 and was heading to Vallejo when it apparently lost control of its steering and veered into the wood pilings of nearby Pier 43.

“There was a mechanical problem when they were backing out,” said Assistant Fire Chief Jim Barden.

Nine people were taken to local hospitals with minor injuries.

The exact cause of the crash remained under investigation.

Paul Cunningham, 41, of Vallejo, was on the ferry with five family members after a day trip to San Francisco.

“It pretty much threw everybody around that wasn’t sitting down,” he said. “It was a good jolt.”

Fire officials used a tugboat to tow the ferry back to Pier 41, and passengers calmly disembarked, authorities said. No major damage to the boat was visible.

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