Block Island Ferry service suspended for third day due to high surf, strong

Sarah Doiron and Amanda Pitts

NARRAGANSETT, R.I. (WPRI) — The Block Island Ferry canceled service for the third day Monday due to high surf and strong winds, caused by the remnants of Tropical Storm Ophelia.

The lack of ferry service has left dozens of visitors stranded, including Rick Swanson, who traveled to Block Island for a family friend’s wedding.

The Warwick resident tells 12 News he’s one of several guests, in addition to the entire wedding party, left without a ride back to Point Judith.

“It’s not a bad place to be stuck for an extra few days,” Swanson said. “It’s a great family to be trapped with here on Block Island.”

It’s not just the wedding guests who are trapped, however. There are a number of wedding vendors who have also found themselves stuck.

“I’ve been running into people from the wedding and they’re like, ‘Oh, you’re stuck here too?’” photographer Colton Simmons said with a chuckle. “Well, if I knew a way off of the island I would be telling everybody.”

The vast majority of those stuck on the island have been forced to shell out extra money for lodging, while others have splurged on alternative ways home.

“My buddy that came to the wedding needed to get home, so he paid a fisherman $1,800 to take him in,” one member of the wedding party explained. “It wouldn’t have been my choice … it took him three-and-a-half hours to get to Point Judith and he said he was throwing up every half hour.”

While everyone remains hopeful that ferry service will resume Tuesday morning, Simmons said they’re trying to make the best out of a bad situation.

“I think everyone is in good spirits,” Simmons said. “When do you really get to just be pulled away from life and told you can’t go back? It’s a much better version of prison, you could say.”

In a service alert Monday evening, the Block Island Ferry said it is continuing to monitor the marine forecast. Should service resume Tuesday, the Block Island Ferry said it will be adjusting its schedule to accommodate additional trips. Those with ferry tickets for Saturday, Sunday and Monday will still be valid once service resumes.

Read More: Block Island Ferry service suspended for third day due to high surf, strong

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