Free ferry closes until water rises

During a safety lecture to a bunch of VIPs on board the new Bay of St. Louis ferry last month, a crew member joked about the shallow waters it would be operating in.

He pointed out lockers with life jackets, but said if the boat went down folks would probably get only their ankles wet.

The normally shallow waters have been made even more so by northerly winds, which have caused the free ferry to close the past three days.

"The water's just too low with the wind," said Dietrich Giles, general manager of the ferry for Hornblower Marine Services. "We're bumping bottom going across."

The National Weather Service in New Orleans said the winds have been pushing the water out into the Mississippi Sound.

Giles said the ferry closed around noon Monday, 11 a.m. Tuesday and around 10 a.m. on Wednesday.

It normally operates from 6:30 a.m. until 6:30 p.m., with departures from Bay St. Louis on the bottom of the hour and Henderson Point on the top of the hour.

He said similar conditions were expected through Friday.

Ferry information

Hornblower Marine Services has set up two ways to check the ferry's daily operation. Call (877) 253-5698 toll-free or visit