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Reopening of Los Ebanos ferry pending U.S. Coast Guard approval

Reopening of Los Ebanos ferry pending U.S. Coast Guard approval
1 month 2 weeks 2 days ago Thursday, May 02 2024 May 2, 2024 May 02, 2024 7:54 PM May 02, 2024 in News - Local

The Los Ebanos ferry is crucial to the small economy between Sullivan City and the Mexican municipality of Gustavo Díaz Ordaz.

The ferry has been closed since January 2024.

The closest international bridge options are a half hour drive on either side of the Rio Grande.

The ferry was even used daily by kids who live in the state of Tamaulipas, but come to school in Texas. Those kids have since had to drop their American classes.

According to the Los Ebanos ferry owner, the ferry captain's master license is causing the closure.

“We had to send the captain to school to take the classes for his master license,” owner Marco Garza said.

The U.S. Coast Guard first told Garza to send his captain to school in June 2023. 

The deadline to complete the course was January 2024, and the ferry was allowed to remain open while the captain took his classes.

In January, the captain was still missing that license.

“They told us that they can push back the deadline three to five months, and we've been closed for three and a half months now,” Garza said.

The captain took the classes and got his certification in February 2024. Now, it's a waiting game. 

Garza says he can't open the ferry until he gets the green light from the U.S. Coast Guard, but he's not the only one waiting. 

“[The U.S. Coast Guard] say there's 2,500 other applications in process,” Garza said.

Channel 5 News reached out to the U.S. Coast Guard for comment. They said they do not know when the review will be complete or if they might need more information to issue the license. 

“It's causing a lot of problems for both communities,” Garza said. “We're reaching out every week, asking for updates."

Watch the video above for the full story. 

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