Press Releases

St. Johns River Ferry to resume operation Friday Morning

MAYPORT, FL – The St. Johns River Ferry will return to Mayport Village Thursday afternoon, and return to full service on Friday, Aug. 9 at 6 a.m.

The car and passenger ferry, which connects the north and south ends of Florida State Road A1A in Mayport Village and Fort George Island, was removed from service on July 25 for emergency repairs.

That morning, the propeller system was damaged by a large submerged rope that got entangled as the ship approached the Fort George Island slip.

HMS Ferries Inc., which operates and manages the Ferry for JTA, noticed unusual sounds and vibrations and halted service. A diver later observed that the propeller retaining nut and keeper were missing, which caused 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 approximately six to seven inches in diameter.

The Ferry was pulled out of the water and dry-docked at BAE Systems Ship Repair on July 30.

An initial inspection by the JTA, HMS, BAE Systems and the U.S. Coast Guard confirmed damage to the inside of the propeller but no visual damage to the shaft.

Although initially expected to take about two weeks, 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, ahead of a final inspection and a sea trial.

 “The Ferry is a vital mode of transportation for thousands of drivers who rely on the convenient and quick cruise to connect to their destinations every day,” said JTA CEO Nathaniel Ford Sr. “That’s why it was extremely important to expedite these repairs so we could return the Jean Ribault to Mayport as soon and as safely as possible.”

Pending a final inspection by the U.S. Coast Guard, the Ferry is scheduled to resume operation Friday morning during normal business hours.

The Ferry is open Monday - 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. - 8:30 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased in person, online or through the free MyJTA app, available for iOS and Android smart mobile devices.

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