Because of shoaling issues in the ferry channel outside of Ocracoke’s Silver Lake Harbor, daily service will be reduced by one trip each way on the Pamlico Sound between Ocracoke and both Cedar Island and Swan Quarter until further notice.
The state Department of Transportation’s Ferry Division announced Wednesday the following schedule that will start Thursday:
- Cedar Island to Ocracoke: 10:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
- Ocracoke to Cedar Island: 7:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.
- Swan Quarter to Ocracoke: 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
- Ocracoke to Swan Quarter: 7 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.
Reservation holders whose trips are affected by the change will be notified by email or phone.
The latest survey by the Army Corps of Engineers shows water depths in Bigfoot Slough near Ocracoke as low as 8 feet, which means the ferry system’s two largest sound-class vessels, the Swan Quarter and the Sea Level, cannot cross the area safely.
The ferry channel in Bigfoot Slough is a federally maintained channel, meaning that any dredging that occurs must be performed by the Army Corps of Engineers. The Ferry Division has notified the Corps of the critical need for dredging in the area, according to NCDOT.