Residents of Sandy Island seeking new school ferry

The boat used to ferry school children from the mainland to Sandy Island approaches the dock on the island in this February 2009 file photo. The boat is the state’s only school ferry. Residents are asking the state to replace the boat.

SANDY ISLAND, S.C. — Residents of Sandy Island in Georgetown County want a replacement for the 50-year-old boat that ferries their children to schools on the mainland.

The island is located between the Waccamaw and Great Pee Dee Rivers north of Georgetown and is accessible only by boat.

The Sun News of Myrtle Beach reports that Georgetown County NAACP President Morris Johnson says the 10 children who currently ride the boat come home every day smelling of diesel fuel.

Parents and educators worry that is affecting the students’ health.

The boat currently in use was bought in 1965.

The state Education Department says it is working to get a new boat. But it’s not clear how long that will take.

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Information from: The Sun News, http://www.thesunnews.com/