The North Carolina Department of Transportation’s ferry M/V Silver Lake returned to Ocracoke today under tow after losing steering power and running soft-aground Saturday night.
The incident happened about one mile south of Ocracoke as the Silver Lake was making its last run of the day to Cedar Island. The captain of the Silver Lake contacted the U.S. Coast Guard, which sent a boat from its Hatteras Station to bring the ferry’s 14 passengers back to Ocracoke.
Mechanics and the crew remained on board the Silver Lake to perform repairs and wait for the arrival of the tugboat Royal Engineer. The passengers, crew and ship were never in any danger at any time.
Upon the arrival of the tug, the Silver Lake was towed back to Ocracoke, where the seven vehicles were unloaded and claimed by their owners. On Monday morning, the Royal Engineer will tow the Silver Lake to the State Shipyard to be repaired and inspected before returning to service.
“We have very detailed plans for when incidents like this occur, and they were followed to the letter,” said NCDOT Ferry Division Director Ed Goodwin. “The safety of our passengers and crews are our top priority at all times. We certainly apologize for the inconvenience these passengers had to deal with, but we are grateful that they are all safely back on shore. We want to thank the U.S. Coast Guard for assisting us during this incident.”