We responded to a call from an 18′ Jon Boat that was reported to be taking on water north of Battery Island, between the island and downtown Southport. We were advised there were 3 adults, 1 child, and 2 dogs on the boat. The Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office Marine Patrol boat was also dispatched to the area. We launched boat 4490 from the United States Coast Guard Station Oak Island and sent a separate crew with the drone to the Southport Marina. This was a fairly long-running call due to adverse weather conditions and the distance involved. Normally, Southport Fire and Rescue would have handled this call, but their boat was down for repairs following a boat accident they had responded to early in the morning.
The people and dogs were rescued by Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office and the boat was towed back to land. The water in the river and surrounding area was very rough. The winds were strong and inland waves reported to be over 4′ high. These are not conditions suitable for a small boat, much less a Jon boat. Even less so when heavily weighted down by people and animals. Fortunately, these people were able to beach their boat on Battery Island to await rescue. Had this happened in deeper water farther from shore, a happy ending may not have been possible.