Just prior to 1:30 pm today the Sheriff’s Office C-Com (911 center) received a 911 call that three kayakers were stranded due to the wind and unable to make it back to shore near the west end of the island off Kings Lynn Drive.
Oak Island Water Rescue, Oak Island Fire Department, Oak Island Police Department, Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office, North Carolina Marine Patrol, and the United States Coast Guard were alerted and participated in successfully resolving the incident. Two of the kayakers made it back to shore on their own and one was assisted by the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office boat, Marine 1.
That’s the short version. If you are interested in hearing the finer details of the incident, an explanation of how all these rescue agencies function as one coordinated team, and about some recent enhancements we’ve made at Oak Island Water Rescue, keep reading below.
The rescue coordination begins with C-Com, who alerted two local rescue agencies, two local law enforcement agencies, a state law enforcement agency, and a federal rescue agency. Those agencies operate on five different radio channels. Since coordination and communications would be very difficult and hampered using five channels, all of the agencies switch radio channels to communicate on one channel.
In this case, Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office Marine 1 was on patrol in the area and quickly began searching for the kayakers. Oak Island Fire Department Engine 171 and Oak Island Water Rescue Chief Young also arrived on scene and continued the search. Oak Island Water Rescue responded with two vehicles and our larger inflatable rescue boat, 4490.
On Marine Channel 16, United States Coast Guard Sector NC in Wilmington (the regional command center for USCG units) announced a “Pan Pan” message about the kayakers and requested that any civilian boats in the area lend assistance if safe to do so. The reported location of the kayakers is too shallow, especially at low tide, and it would be very difficult for the large USCG boats from Station Oak Island to operate there.
From shore, Chief Young located the kayakers in the area of the Montgomery Slough, communicated with Marine 1, and relayed the information over the radio. That allowed all the responding agencies to have the most accurate location and up to date information.
The North Carolina Marine Patrol boat and our boat can operate in shallow water and both were preparing to launch from the Blue Water Point boat ramp. Since it was right at high tide, Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office Marine 1 was able to reach the kayakers. Two of the kayakers made it to shore on their own and one was assisted by Marine 1.
In the photos you can see the five different bodies of water and the two named islands near “The Point” and what a challenge it can be to locate persons or boats in distress. Staged at the boat ramp are the rescue boats from North Carolina Marine Patrol and Oak Island Water Rescue.
You might notice our new helmets and lifejackets that you provided through your donations. We are also wearing dry suits which will keep the crew warm and dry in the rainy cold weather we had today. We have multiple items in our personal protective equipment inventory for both warm and cold weather. Hopefully you found the long version informative and interesting.
- 3 Kayaks Stuck in Windy Conditions February 5, 2021
- Female Stuck on Sandbar on Bald Head Island January 23, 2021
- Sailboat Stuck on Sandbar in Lockwoods Folly Inlet January 23, 2021
- We Have a Hovercraft! January 10, 2021
- Boat Collided with Dock December 23, 2020
- February 2021 (1)
- January 2021 (3)
- December 2020 (1)
- November 2020 (3)
- October 2020 (5)
- September 2020 (12)
- August 2020 (13)
- July 2020 (20)
- June 2020 (11)
- May 2020 (10)
- March 2020 (6)
- February 2020 (5)
- January 2020 (3)
- November 2019 (1)
- October 2019 (4)
- September 2019 (7)
- August 2019 (22)
- July 2019 (10)
- June 2019 (6)
- May 2019 (16)
- April 2019 (9)
- March 2019 (5)