– State, federal and local law enforcement agencies trained Tuesday on how to respond effectively to an emergency aboard a state ferry in Cherry Branch.
“Our No. 1 priority is to ensure we’re doing everything we can to keep our passengers and employees safe,” said Harold Thomas, director of the state Ferry Division. “Multi-agency, coordinated emergency exercises such as these are standard operating procedure.”
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. Tuesday’s training was part of a series of required trainings aimed at ensuring emergency response teams know how to conduct a coordinated and timely response to a major incident on a ferry.
Participating in the training were officials with the U.S. Coast Guard, North Carolina State Highway Patrol, NCDOT’s Ferry Division, 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.
There were no passengers aboard the ferry and there was no interruption to ferry operations, as the Cherry Branch-Minnesott Beach route has been temporarily suspended due to some ramp maintenance work at the Cherry Branch Terminal.