News Releases

8/31/2015: Southport-Fort Fisher Ferry Temporarily On One Boat Schedule Starting September 1

Southport-Fort Fisher Ferry Temporarily On One Boat Schedule Starting September 1

Posted 8/31/2015 3:55:10 PM

(SOUTHPORT) - Due to mechanical issues, the Southport-Fort Fisher ferry route will temporarily be on a one-boat schedule beginning Tuesday, September 1. The schedule will be as follows: From Southport: 5:30 a.m., 7, 9:15, 10:45, 12:15 p.m.,1:45, 3:15, 4:45, and 6:15.From Fort Fisher: 6:15 a.m., 7:45, 10, 11:30, 1 p.m., 2:30, 4, 5:30, and 7. The Southport-Fort Fisher route will resume its regular schedule as soon as a second boat is available.(NCDOT)
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8/31/2015: Ferry Crew Rescues Two From Overturned Boat In Swan Quarter Bay

Ferry Crew Rescues Two From Overturned Boat In Swan Quarter Bay

Posted 8/31/2015 11:04:04 AM

(SWAN QUARTER) - Nearing the end of his 9:30 a.m. run from Ocracoke on Saturday, North Carolina Ferry Captain Mark Piner noticed an unusual sight in Swan Quarter Bay: an overturned boat with two people hanging onto it. Immediately, Captain Piner contacted the U.S. Coast Guard and ordered the M/V Silver Lake’s rescue boat launched. Crew members Daniel Smith and Simon Robinette piloted the rescue boat to the capsized vessel, pulling George and Justin Peele out of the water and into the rescue boat. After determining that both men were unharmed, the crew brought the father and son onboard the M/V Silver Lake, and the ferry completed its run to Swan Quarter. Upon reaching the ferry terminal, Crew Member Robinette returned both men to their vehicle at a nearby boat ramp. “Once again, our crews have demonstrated that their training pays off,” said Ferry Division Director Ed Goodwin. “It should be a comfort to boaters all across Eastern North Carolina that our ferry crews stand ready and able to assist any boaters they find in distress.” The rescue was the fourth such action by ferry crews in the past two years. On September 26, 2013, the crew of the M/V Cedar Island rescued two sailors in rough seas just off of Ocracoke. In separate incidents on March 29 and July 4 of this year, NC Ferry crews came to the aid of men whose sailboats had overturned in the Neuse River.(NCDOT)
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Caption: Rescue Craft from M/V Silver Lake responds to overturned boat in Swan Quarter Bay
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8/25/2015: Ferry Division To Host Public Meetings On Passenger Ferry Study

Ferry Division To Host Public Meetings On Passenger Ferry Study

Posted 8/25/2015 1:35:29 PM

(MANNS HARBOR) - Midway through a study on the possibility of passenger-only ferry service directly between Hatteras and Ocracoke Village, the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s Ferry Division will host two public meetings on the topic August 31 and September 1. The meetings will be an open forum, where members of the public can stop by at their convenience and offer questions and comments about the Passenger Ferry Feasibility Study and its findings to Ferry Division Officials and representatives from Volkert, the firm conducting the study. “We’ll be presenting the public with the study’s findings to this point,” said Ferry Division Director Ed Goodwin. “We have several options for the number and types of boats we could start out with, as well as ideas on parking and dock improvements on both sides. We definitely want to get the public’s feedback before we proceed with a plan.” The scheduled meetings are: August 31, 5-7 p.m. at the Ocracoke Community Center, 999 Irvin Garrish Highway, Ocracoke. September 1, 5-7 p.m. at the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum, 59200 Museum Drive, Hatteras. The Passenger Ferry Feasibility Study began earlier this year and has included meetings with the public and local stakeholders, as well as a ferry passenger survey and test runs by the Provincetown III, a catamaran-style passenger ferry based out of Boston. The survey is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year. (NCDOT)
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Caption: The Provincetown III visited Ocracoke May 4
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7/6/2015: NC Ferry Crew Rescues Neuse River Sailor In Distress

NC Ferry Crew Rescues Neuse River Sailor In Distress

Posted 7/6/2015 10:21:27 AM

Cherry Branch - As the crew of the North Carolina Ferry M/V Chicamacomico was loading cars for its last departure of the day from Minnesott Beach Saturday afternoon, security watch stander John Brann noticed something amiss on the Neuse River in Pamlico County. A sailboat had tipped and rolled over just outside of the ferry basin and was rapidly drifting into the river channel. Brann immediately informed crew members Paul Abare and Stevenson Lee Weeks, who notified Captain Wendell Hunnings of the boater in distress. Hunnings then ordered Abare and Weeks to launch the Chicamacomico's rescue boat. Upon reaching the boater, Abare and Weeks determined the sailor, Sean Pollin of Linden, Va., did not need medical assistance but did need help in righting his boat. Working together, Pollin, Abare and Weeks pulled the sailboat out of the current and into shallow water where Pollin was able to pull it ashore. Pollin said he had underestimated the winds on the Neuse and was overcome by them. The rescue was the third of boaters in distress by ferry crews in the past 22 months. On Sept. 26, 2013, the crew of the M/V Cedar Island rescued two sailors in rough seas just off of Ocracoke. On March 29, 2015, the crew of the M/V Thomas A. Baum came to the aid of a New Bern man whose sailboat had also overturned on the Neuse. "Once again, a ferry crew used its skill and training to help a boater in distress", said Ferry Division Director Ed Goodwin. "Safety has always been our top priority, and our crews are well prepared to deal with emergencies not only on our vessels but elsewhere in the water as well. We are proud of the service our crews provide to all the residents and visitors of eastern North Carolina." After the rescue boat and crew returned to the ferry, the Chicamacomico completed its scheduled run to Cherry Branch. ***NCDOT***
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A North Carolina ferry crew comes to the aid of a sailor whose boat overturned in the Neuse River on July 4, 2015.
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5/12/2015: NC Ferry System Seeks Hatteras 'Early Birds' After Switch To Summer Schedule

NC Ferry System Seeks Hatteras 'Early Birds' After Switch To Summer Schedule

Posted 5/12/2015 3:55:21 PM

(Hatteras) - The North Carolina Department of Transportation's Ferry System switched to its full summer schedule of 36 daily round-trip departures between Hatteras and Ocracoke Tuesday, calling on summer day trippers to strongly consider going as early in the day as possible to avoid wait times in the peak season. "We've always suggested visitors try to avoid the peak times of the day when traveling between Hatteras and Ocracoke," said Ferry Division Communications Officer Tim Hass. "This year, we're coming right out and saying it: The best way to get out of ferry lines is to travel early, travel late, or travel between Friday and Monday. We have years of data to back that up." That data shows that in general, there are no waits at Hatteras before 9 a.m., with lines starting to form around 10. 11 a.m.-3 p.m. is the peak travel time, with lines generally dissipating by 4 p.m. On the Ocracoke side, there is usually no waiting before 2 p.m. Cars begin to stack up by 3 p.m. and lines are the longest between 6-7. By 9 p.m., those lines are usually gone. "People still want to go to Ocracoke, and they should go to Ocracoke," said Ferry Division Director Ed Goodwin. "By adjusting their schedule just a little, they can spend less time in a ferry line and more time on Ocracoke. And that's what vacation should be about." The Ferry System has created a web page at www.ncferry.org/earlybird with more information and will be encouraging off-peak travel all summer via advertising and social media.(NCDOT)
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