Snug Harbor On Nelson Bay to Close in December

Unfortunate and devastating news is spreading quickly throughout our communities that Snug Harbor on Nelson Bay will be closing it’s doors on December 21, 2019. So many will be impacted by this, most directly the residents, their families, and the employees. The reason for the closing has yet to be announced.

Sailor’s Snug Harbor originally opened it’s doors in 1833 to become America’s first retirement home for retired seamen. In 1965 the Snug Harbor site on Staten Island was declared a National Historic Landmark. The home for retired sailors moved to Sea Level, North Carolina in 1976. Eventually, Snug Harbor was transformed to Snug Harbor on Nelson Bay to provide a retirement community for individuals other than merchant mariners.

For some time now, Snug Harbor on Nelson Bay has provided not only a retirement community to many, but also provides services for assisted living, medical assisted living, and rehabilitation therapy.

An added impact for Down East and the county with the closing of Snug Harbor, will be the loss of services of Pruitt Health, which is also located in Sea Level. Pruitt Health will apparently be relocating east of Beaufort.


It is with deep regret that the owners and management of Snug Harbor on Nelson Bay announce that the facility will be closing. It has been a pleasure serving the Down East communities for forty three years which made the decision to close a very difficult one. Significant damage to the facility by Hurricane Florence in 2018 and again by Hurricane Dorian in 2019 resulted in a huge financial strain on the facility. The delay in insurance reimbursement for damage repair also made it impossible for the facility to comply with the State of North Carolina’s Division of Health & Human Service, Life Safety Division regulations for operating a skilled health care facility. In addition, the overall costs to operate the facility, to employ and retain qualified staff, along with the current change to the healthcare reimbursement made the facility financially unsustainable. This was a difficult decision by both the ownership and management and closing was the only option.

Resource meetings are being planned to help inform residents and family members of their options for placement at other facilities in our area. We will also have resources available to help Snug Harbor staff find future employment. Announcements about these resources will be announced on the Snug Harbor Facebook page.

We want to say thank you for your support of Snug Harbor on Nelson Bay. It has been a great honor to serve the needs of the Down East Community and Carteret County for so many years!