Havelock couple fighting Cape Lookout ferry service plan

Published: Tuesday, August 6, 2013 at 12:25 PM.

For Capt. Bill Downum, this season may be the last for his ferry service.

“For us, it’s going to be the loss of 80 to 90 percent of our business,” said Downum, who operates Crystal Coast Ferry Service on the Morehead City waterfront. “Basically what it means is we may not be able to operate.”

Downum said Shackleford Banks trips are the bulk of his business. He said he may give scenic tours a try next season, but that leaves uncertainty for the future.

“If this plan proceeds, I may try keeping one of the two boats and just try cruises,” he said.

It is unclear the plan’s potential impact on guided tours, which it does not address.

The ferry operations leave from sites along Harkers Island, and the Beaufort and Morehead City waterfronts.

Cape Lookout National Seashore Superintendent Pat Kenney said bidding closed in June and proposals now are being reviewed by a panel of park service officials independent of Cape Lookout and the project.

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