KILL DEVIL HILLS (AP) — The North Carolina ferry service that carries passengers to the Outer Banks is facing a shortage of deck hands, seamen and captains.
The Virginian-Pilot reported last week that there’s often a waiting list to get a ferry job. But this year the service needs to fill an expanded summer schedule.
Jed Dixon, deputy director of the North Carolina Ferry Division, said it’s having a “harder time than I can remember finding people.”
Dixon said the pandemic prevented an annual job fair that typically helps recruit enough employees. But people could simply be choosing other careers.
North Carolina has a system of 22 ferries on seven routes. It’s the second largest in the nation.
About 2 million people ride the vessels each year across the state’s waterways between the Outer Banks and the mainland.
The ferry service needs roughly 20 more employees.
“While there’s always a chance we might not be able to run the full summer schedule if we don’t get the crews, the ferry division is doing everything humanly possible to not let that happen,” spokesman Tim Hass said.