JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - The St. Johns River Ferry is back up and running Friday after being out of service for roughly two weeks.
The ferry, which runs between Mayport Village and Fort George Island, underwent emergency repairs because a submerged rope got entangled and damaged the propeller system.
As a way of saying thank you for riders' patience during the two weeks the ferry was out of commission, all rides on the ferry Friday are free.
According to JTA, as the ferry began to dock at the Fort George slip early that morning, the ferry operations team reported hearing an unusual noise and halted service. Shortly after a diver was sent to inspect underneath the vessel and found the propeller retaining nut and keeper were missing, causing the propeller to become unseated on the propeller shaft.
Based on the damage and pieces found in the water nearby, JTA estimates the rope was about 6 to 7 inches in diameter.
The ferry was pulled out of the water and dry-docked July 30. JTA said an initial inspection confirmed damage to the inside of the propeller, but no visual damage to the shaft.
According to JTA, repairs were completed in just over a week. The rudder had to be removed so crews could access the propeller and was welded back in place. The propeller and other components were also reinstalled. Other prep work was completed Wednesday and the ship underwent sea trials Thursday.
The ferry passed its inspections and tests Thursday and resumed operations Friday morning.
The car and passenger ferry is open Monday through Friday, beginning in Mayport Village at 6 a.m. and Fort George Island at 6:30 a.m.
Service continues with departures on every hour and half-hour through 7 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday service is from 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Tickets can be purchased in person, online or through the MyJTA app. For more information, visit https://ferry.jtafla.com.
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