Sandy Ground Ferry begins voyage from Port St. Joe to New York City

Local News

PORT ST. JOE, Fla. (WMBB) — A company in Port St. Joe announces the completion of their second Ollis Class Staten Island Ferry.

The Eastern Shipbuilding Group is able to tip their hardhats as the Sandy Ground Ferry sets sail to New York City.

“You know, this is the second vessel being delivered of this three-boat contract here with local Gulf County Residents, Franklin County residents, and Bay County residents,” ESG’s Port St. Joe Operations Director England Reeves said. “It’s really awesome to see these teams come together.”

300-400 people had a hand in working on this boat. ESG officials said these new ferries are larger, reflect modern technology, and will operate more safely in extreme weather conditions.

Because the Sandy Ground Ferry isn’t made to go into the open sea, there are a few things the crews had to do to prepare it before takeoff, like putting up plywood over windows and doors, and then also installing a steel visor at the front of the boat.

Dann Ocean Towing is leading the ferry for the estimated 14-day voyage to New York. But the journey could be a little more difficult because of the winter season.

“We will actually have a surveyor on the tug that’s monitoring it at all times,” Commercial Shipbuilding Vice President Jamie Keel said. “So they’ll be putting up daily updates on weather and making the determination on whether or not they need to pull into port.”

Keel said they hope the ferry arrives at the New York shipyard before Christmas.

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