IMG_2303abGood morning to Captain and crew alike and welcome to the Admiralty Docket. This is John Hughes Cooper with a glimpse into your rights and responsibilities at sea and upon the navigable waters.

*In his letter to the editor published in Thursday’s Post and Courier, Joe De Muccio of Mt. Pleasant proposes a people and bike ferry across Charleston Harbor in combination with bus service as an alternative to the proposed toll bridge. In recent years, others have proposed various ferries for Charleston Harbor.

One topic which seems to have escaped public discussion is the law pertaining to ferries. Today we are joined by Dr. Cody Mowit, an expert on ferries in South Carolina. Welcome, Dr. Mowit. What do you think about the recurring proposal for public ferry service in Charleston Harbor?

**No way! It just won’t work. S.C. Code Ann. § 57-15-60 sets themaximum charges for transportation on ferries chartered under Chapter 15:

1.For every passenger, five cents, except in the case of public steam ferries on which a maximum rate of ten cents for a single trip or passage may be charged;

2.For every head of sheep, goats, hogs and other small animals, five cents;

3. For every horse, mule and head of cattle, ten cents;

4. For every passenger with single horse, mule, ox or other riding animal, twenty cents;

5.For every single-horse buggy, cart or other vehicle, twenty-five cents;

6.For every two-horse wagon or other vehicle, fifty cents;

7.For every three-horse wagon or other vehicle, sixty-five cents;

8.For every four-horse wagon or other vehicle, seventy-five cents. Endquote.

These are the highest allowed ferry rates. No mention of the rate for a 300 horse vehicle.

Here’s the beef, Mr. Cooper. According to my informal survey of public transportation needs in Charleston, few horses, mules, or cattle and even fewer head of sheep, goats, or hogs will ride a ferry these days, and almost no one will show up in a wagon or other vehicle drawn by 2, 3, or 4 horses. So, as the law stands, ferry operators can only charge five cents per passenger . . . unless they take a step backwards and install steam engines, which would allow a charge of ten cents per passenger . . . It’s getting harder and harder to find a good steam engine.

*Thank you, Dr. Mowit . . . Economics . . . It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law.

More, next week on The Admiralty Docket. Until then, remember, your rights and responsibilities may change as you approach the shore and may God Almighty grant you pleasant sailing.

If you have questions regarding admiralty or maritime law, please call or Email Us for a free, confidential consultation with no obligation.

Share →

From our law office in Mount Pleasant, John Hughes Cooper, P.C. handles admiralty law and maritime law cases throughout coastal South Carolina (the Lowcountry), the Pee Dee region, communities surrounding Lake Marion and Lake Moultrie, and elsewhere in the Southeast. The communities we serve include Charleston, Mt. Pleasant, Isle of Palms, Sullivan's Island, Georgetown, Beaufort, Hilton Head, North Myrtle Beach, Myrtle Beach, Edisto Island, Walterboro, Pawley's Island, Murrells Inlet, Little River, Conway, Columbia, Florence, Charleston County, Georgetown County, Berkeley County, Beaufort County, Horry County, Jasper County and Colleton County.

Disclaimer: The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. We invite you to contact us and welcome your calls, letters and electronic mail. Contacting us does not create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information to us until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established.

This website uses the Google AdWords remarketing service to advertise on third party websites (including Google) to previous visitors to our site. This could be in the form of an advertisement on the Google search results page, or a site in the Google Display Network. Third-party vendors, including Google, use cookies to serve ads based on someone’s past visits to the John Hughes Cooper, P.C. website. Any data collected will be used in accordance with our own privacy policy and Google’s privacy policy. You can set preferences for how Google advertises to you using the Google Ad Preferences page, and if you want to you can opt out of interest-based advertising entirely by cookie settings or permanently using a browser plugin.