“It was like hitting a brick wall,” passenger Matthew Fleming told reporters, describing the jarring impact the private ferry Adventure had with a sand bar near the mouth of the Cape Fear River Tuesday morning. Fifty-six people were on board, including the crew members. Several passengers were thrown about, and 13 were injured.
The 64-foot ferry ran aground on a sand bar near Battery Island shortly after departing Deep Point Marina in Southport around 9:00 AM. The trip normally takes 20 minutes, but Adventure became stranded before it completed its journey to Bald Head Island.
No one was thrown from the boat, but one passenger did sustain potentially serious chest and back injuries and had to be air-lifted from the ferry to New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington. The U.S. Coast Guard was notified immediately, and three rescue boats responded, transporting 13 injured passengers back to ambulances and emergency response teams in Southport. Kirk Singer, spokesperson for Dosher Memorial Hospital in Southport, said many people were transported to the medical facility by ambulance, and seven others came in on their own for treatment. Most injuries were non-life-threatening. Uninjured passengers were taken on another boat to an EMS watch station for further evaluation.
The U.S. Coast Guard is still investigating the scene of the ferry accident. It is unclear exactly what caused the ferry to run aground. “There’s no real firm idea on why this happened at this point,” said U.S. Coast Guard Lt. L.M. Monroe. “Currently, the vessel does not appear to be blocking the channel, and when the vessel was first grounded, we were encouraging other mariners as well as the ferry traffic to transit slowly, so that wake would not disturb and perhaps puncture the bottom.”
Deep Point’s ferry services have been temporarily suspended until the Coast Guard gives the ‘all clear’ for safe passage around the grounded vessel, which is scheduled to be floated and recovered during high tide Wednesday morning.
If you or a loved one sustained serious injuries after a boat accident such as this, seek proper medical treatment immediately. After you have been evaluated by a medical professional, you can contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your options for filing a personal injury claim to help cover the cost of ongoing healthcare to treat your injuries. The legal team at George Sink, P.A. Injury Lawyers is standing by 24/7 to answer your questions and review your situation. Call today for a free consultation.
Photo Credit: U.S. Coast Guard
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