NCDOT ferry runs aground near Ocracoke

OCRACOKE, N.C. – The N.C. Department of Transportation’s Ferry M/V Sea Level ran soft aground Tuesday.

The vessel ran aground in shallow water near Ocracoke Island around 9 a.m.

The grounding happened in Bigfoot Slough as the M/V Sea Level was on its way to Ocracoke from Cedar Island.

The vessel slowed as it approached the shallow water, but strong 25-knot winds pushed the ferry onto a sandbar.

The crew of the Sea Level immediately informed the 16 passengers on board of the situation and made sure that they all were unharmed.

It was eventually able to free itself at high tide.

NCDOT said there were no injuries to passengers or crew members.

After three hours the vessel completed the trip to Ocracoke to unload all passengers and vehicles.

NCDOT said crews will inspect the vessel for damage, though none is expected.