New ferry to Bear Island

Jacksonville

A state park in Swansboro continues to recover after Hurricane Florence.

Efforts to travel to Bear Island have become limited after docks at Hammocks Beach State Park were destroyed from the storm.

The park’s hiking trails and kayak launch were also closed.

Those have recently opened.

The docks, however, are still being repaired.

The park normally starts their ferry services to Bear Island in April, but construction work has delayed their timeline.

But a local company is offering a new way to get to Bear Island. Carolina Swan with Lady Swan Tours is providing ferry services to local island beaches.

Seven roundtrips are scheduled to shuttle visitors to and from islands every day of the week.

“We’d just take out campers once in a while maybe some date people that wanted to go to a different part of the island so this is like ten-fold,” said Captain George Stefiuck with Lady Swan Tours on the Carolina Swan.

The captain notices more work and repairs need to be done to restore the docks and the island.

But Stefiuck says everyone will have a chance to visit local islands including those who don’t have a boat on the Carolina Swan.

Hammocks Beach State Park officials say the park is to resume their ferry services sometime in August.

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