NCDOT Hosts Ferry Vessel Emergency Training Exercise

The North Carolina Department of Transportation recently hosted a training session for state, federal, and local law enforcement agencies on how to respond effectively to an emergency aboard a state ferry.

[Above photo by NCDOT]

The training included a simulation of law enforcement and emergency response to an active shooter incident on board a ferry as it cruised along the Neuse River near the Cherry Branch terminal.

That session also served as part of a series of required trainings aimed at ensuring that law enforcement teams know how to conduct a coordinated and timely response to a major incident on a ferry.

Harold Thomas. Photo by NCDOT.

“Our number one priority is to ensure we’re doing everything we can to keep our passengers and employees safe,” explained Harold Thomas, director of the NCDOT Ferry Division, in a statement. “Multi-agency, coordinated emergency exercises such as these are standard operating procedure.”

[Editor’s note: The North Carolina Ferry System celebrated its 75 anniversary of operation in 2022, hosting an event to honor that operational milestone at the Hatteras Ferry Terminal in May.]

NCDOT noted that no passengers were aboard the ferry during the exercise and no interruption to the state’s ferry operations occurred.

Participants in NCDOT’s training session included the U.S. Coast Guard; North Carolina State Highway Patrol; NCDOT Ferry Division personnel; the New Bern Police Department; the Pamlico County Sheriff’s Office; the Craven County Sheriff’s Office; the Atlantic Beach Police Department and the North Carolina Marine Patrol.

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