Oak Island, N.C. – The Coast Guard rescued 10 people Thursday after their 22-foot pontoon boat started taking on water southeast of Bald Head Island, officials tell NewsChannel 3.
The boaters were traveling to Bald Head Island when they took on water from oncoming waves while attempting to cross the Cape Fear River entrance. One boater fell overboard.
A good Samaritan notified Coast Guard Sector North Carolina watchstanders of the distressed boaters at approximately 10:40 a.m.
Sector watchstanders diverted two Coast Guard Station Oak Island boat crews, who were training in the area, aboard a 47-foot Motor Life Boat and a 25-foot Response Boat – Small to assist.
The Coast Guard boat crews located the pontoon boat at approximately 10:45 a.m., rescued one boater from the water, and transferred the remaining nine boaters to the 47-foot MLB.
The crew of the MLB then took the survivors to Station Oak Island while the RB-S crew stayed on scene, used pumps to dewater the pontoon boat and towed it to the station.
All survivors were reported to be in good health, officials say.
“The Coast Guard would like to remind mariners to wear a lifejacket and to check the weather and tides prior to their departure from port and to plan accordingly,” said Senior Chief Petty Officer Anthony Kannan, officer in charge of Coast Guard Station Oak Island.