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Shortly before 2 a.m. Sunday, a Jamestown-Scotland Ferry shift commander hastily issued a command to the crew, “Load and Go!”
The crew was alerted to a Surry woman, sitting in her vehicle on the ferry’s Scotland dock, who was in labor, according to a release from the Virginia Department of Transportation.
Before the crew could leave the dock, Sherita Judkins gave birth to 6 pound, 13-ounce Kamriyn Santia Osborne in the front passenger seat of her van with the help of the baby’s father, Kevin Osborne.
“This all happened in a matter of minutes,” said Paula Miller, a spokeswoman for VDOT. “By the time the baby’s father notified the crew and the crew was preparing to leave the dock, they came back to the car and he was holding the baby in his hands.”
This is the second time in 13 months that JSF crew members have assisted at a delivery on or at the Jamestown-Scotland Ferry, but Miller says there is not yet a designated protocol for these situations, as they are impossible to predict.
Coincidentally, a pediatric nurse happened to be waiting in line for the ferry and offered to accompany the trio as they were shuttled across the river to the Jamestown dock, where an ambulance awaited their arrival.
Recalling the early morning events from her Williamsburg hospital room Sunday night, Judkins said she was “excited, nervous and in a lot of pain,” at the time.
The family plans to return home to Surry on the Jamestown-Scotland Ferry by Tuesday.