Deer Island shuttle boat gets favorable reviews

DEER ISLAND, MS (WLOX) - Deer Island has been a favorite getaway for generations of Biloxi residents. And with a new beach on the western end, the island has become even more popular. The only limitation: You need a boat to reach Deer Island.

WLOX News got some reaction to the Secretary of State's suggestion of a shuttle boat to and from the island. Most folks we questioned say the shuttle boat idea makes sense.  Charter boat captain, Clarence Seymour, understands the growing attraction of Deer Island.

With the high cost of fuel, many boaters are choosing to spend time there, rather than taking the longer trip to Horn Island.

"It's close, and it's easy. And with the fuel costs, they can really enjoy the island. You don't have to have a big giant boat to get there," said Seymour.

Tourists aboard the Sailfish cruise past Deer Island during the popular Biloxi Shrimp Trip. Brandy Moore said smaller boats already provide charter service to and from Deer Island, but she says a larger shuttle boat makes sense. Visitors are looking for that kind of getaway.

"That's what they come to the coast for. They come to see our beautiful waters. And when they come out here we're giving them an affordable, hour trip on the water. So, it's something everyone can do," said the Sailfish operator.

"We've got to all get together and promote this tourism area, no matter what it is. Oil spills, hurricanes. We've got to recover from all of it," said Captain Seymour.

Hazel Franklin and her grandson, Tyler, had a blast aboard the Sailfish. She said they'd certainly be interested in a shuttle boat visit to Deer Island.

"I love nature. So, I love getting out on the water to see interesting things. Anything that has to do with the ocean, the water, the fish. Things that God created," said Franklin.

Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann made it clear that the Deer Island shuttle boat idea is in the preliminary stages. One concern is limiting the number of visitors, so as not to disturb the ecology of the near shore island.

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