The state Department of Transportation’s Ferry Division has made changes to the ferry schedules to and from Ocracoke Island because of a labor shortage in Hatteras and severe shoaling issues in Pamlico Sound.
To avoid waiting for the vehicle ferry, state officials encourage those traveling between Hatteras and Ocracoke to ride the Ocracoke Express passenger ferry that carries travelers between the Hatteras Terminal and directly into Ocracoke Village, where a free tram operated by Hyde County will take them to shops, restaurants and attractions. Reservations are online or call 1-800-BY-FERRY.
The Ferry Division said it had been working to address its labor needs with six job fairs this year but still needs to fill several temporary and permanent positions to be able to fully staff its summer operations at Hatteras. Those interested in applying should visit the state jobs website and search the term “ferry.” A seventh job fair is scheduled Thursday in Manteo.
Severe shoaling in Pamlico Sound’s Bigfoot Slough has created a safety issue for the largest of the sound class ferries. As a result, those ferries have been pulled from the route, and schedules have been adjusted to reflect the change.
Ferry Division officials are working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers emergency dredging take place in Bigfoot Slough as soon as possible. Once water levels in the ferry channel have been returned to a safe depth, the Pamlico Sound routes will resume their normal summer schedules.
The following is the adjusted schedule between Hatteras and Ocracoke:
From Hatteras: 5 a.m., 6 a.m., 7 a.m., 8 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 9 a.m., 10 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 11 a.m., 11:30 a.m., noon, 12:30 p.m., 1 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 3 p.m., 3:30 p.m., 4 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m., 6 p.m., 6:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 9 p.m., 9:30 p.m. and midnight.
From Ocracoke: 4:30 a.m., 6:30 a.m., 7:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 10 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., noon, 12:30 p.m., 1 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 3 p.m., 3:30 p.m., 4 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 5 p.m., 5:30 p.m., 6 p.m., 7 p.m., 7:30 p.m., 8 p.m., 9 p.m., 10:30 p.m. and 11 p.m.
The following is the schedule to and from Ocracoke until further notice:
Cedar Island to Ocracoke: 8 a.m., 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Ocracoke to Cedar Island: 7:30 a.m., 1 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Swan Quarter to Ocracoke: 10 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Ocracoke to Swan Quarter: 7 a.m., 11 a.m. and 12:45 p.m.