Legislators in the South Carolina House this week approved a resolution urging the federal Department of Transportation to speed along efforts for a ferry to Sandy Island.
The island, a 12,000-acre tract in Georgetown County, is accessible only by boat and is home to about 20 families. The only regular boat service to the island is the school boat, which takes the island’s children to school.
The resolution says that the lives of those on the island are “made vastly complicated by the lack of public ferry service” and establishing a ferry is “absolutely necessary and lifesaving.”
Calls for a ferry peaked after a Feb. 18, 2009, accident, when a 15-foot boat capsized in stormy waters and three residents drowned. But various efforts to secure a boat and begin service in the years since have so far proved unsuccessful. Plans to accept a donated boat from Alabama fell through because of transportation costs. And fundraising for buying a boat has stalled.
The resolution, which is nonbinding and merely urges the DOT and Federal Highway Administration “to take a leading role in providing regular ferry service,” now goes to the state Senate.