Coast Guard suspends ferry operation from Hilton Head to Daufuskie Island

Coast Guard Sector Charleston marine inspectors identify unsafe conditions on the barge and associated tug Jake Washington Nov. 8, 2018, while moored at Broad Creek Marina in Hilton Head, South Carolina. The barge and tug were also observed operating as a car ferry between Hilton Head and Daufuskie Island without the required U.S. Coast Guard Certificate of Inspection resulting in Captian of the Port orders to cease all operations. (U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Coast Guard Sector Charleston)

Coast Guard Sector Charleston marine inspectors identify unsafe conditions on the barge and associated tug Jake Washington Nov. 8, 2018, while moored at Broad Creek Marina in Hilton Head, South Carolina.  (U.S. Coast Guard photo courtesy of Coast Guard Sector Charleston)

CHARLESTON, S.C. — Coast Guard Sector Charleston marine inspectors identified unsafe conditions November 8th on a barge moored at Broad Creek Marina, Hilton Head, which posed a serious threat to the marine environment and safety of the waterway.

The barge’s condition resulted in Captain of the Port orders to cease all operations.

The barge and associated tug, Jake Washington, had been observed operating as a car ferry between Hilton Head and Daufuskie Island without the required U.S. Coast Guard Certificate of Inspection. Further investigation discovered a lack of watertight integrity, poor condition of the vessel’s structure, excessive water in voids, firefighting deficiencies and electrical hazards.

“As Captain of the Port, one of my highest priorities is the safety of the people on the water, the waterway and marine environment,” said Capt. John Reed, the sector commander. “I am grateful for the experienced marine inspectors for identifying the serious issues and unsafe conditions of this barge. Their work helped prevent a potentially catastrophic marine casualty and resulting impact to the safety of life, property and the environment.”

The order was issued under the Ports and Waterways Safety Act.

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