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What factors go into shutting down and reopening the ferry?

Posted at 7:55 PM, Jul 08, 2024
  • The Aransas Pass-Port Aransas Ferry was shut down at noon on Sunday ahead of Beryl.
  • It reopened at 6:00am Monday.
  • Many visitors took the ferry to evacuate Port Aransas before Beryl.

The Aransas Pass-Port Aransas ferry was shut down at noon on Sunday ahead of Beryl and reopened at 6 a.m. on Monday. The United States Coast Guard is the entity that makes the final call on the decisions to shut down and to reopen the ferries in the event of emergency.

“So, after a storm passes through, we, the Coast Guard works with its industry stakeholders as well as with our aids to navigation teams to survey the waterways and make sure that all of the aids to navigation’s system is working properly," U.S. Coast Guard Deputy Incident Commander Michael Metz said.

While the ferry is typically open 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, it is not uncommon for the ferry sysetm to be shut down in the event of an emergency.

“I think the ferry is a lot better than it used to be. They have a lot of ferries, they have a lot of people and they get it moving pretty good. But, it still gets very busy at times," Jim Moss, who has been a Port Aransas resident since 1981 said.

Summer is usually a very busy time for ferry operations.

“The Coast Guard worked closely with the Aransas Ferries to shut down to ensure the safety of the folks who are on the island. We left it open as long as possible and left closely with the Aransas ferries to ensure that the, to facilitate the successful evacuation of Port Aransas," Commander Metz said.

The U.S. Coast Guard also works with TxDOT, NOA, the National Weather Service, and other marine transportation organizations to make decisions on the shutting down and reopening of the ferries.

"The Coast Guard works very very closely with our Port stakeholders as well as with NOA and the National Weather Service to determine the safety of our waterways before reopening the Port," Commander Metz said.

In-depth studies are done by the U.S. Coast Guard to make sure that the waterways are safe to be reopened after an emergency shut down.

"The Coast Guard works closely with the Port stakeholders to open as quickly as possible given the severity of the storm," Commander Metz said.

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