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Attempt to move grounded ferry fails, injured passengers out of hospital

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A day after a Bald Head Island ferry ran aground hurting more than a dozen people, the boat is still stranded on a sandbar. Meanwhile we are no closer to finding out who the captain was or what caused the grounding.

“We’re on the Bald Head Island ferry,” a 911 caller told a dispatcher after the accident Tuesday morning. “It has come to an abrupt stop in the channel, and we have injured people thrown to the deck. We’ve got a broken nose. Passengers were thrown to the floor.”

Lt. Lane Munroe says Coast Guard investigators are looking into what may have caused the crash.

“We’re going to look into any causative factors, whether they be environmental, mechanical, or personnel driven,” he said. “And we’re going to base that for future actions for the coast guard to look at all ferry traffic within the state.”

Bald Head Island Transportation attempted to move the ferry Wednesday morning, but were unsuccessful. Lt. Monroe says the Coast Guard is working closely with the owners to develop a new plan to salvage the boat.

Meanwhile Bald Head Island Limited spokeswoman Joyce Fulton says the company will not release the captain’s name until the Coast Guard investigation is complete. She says sharing the captain’s name is inappropriate at this time.

The Coast Guard also will not release the captain’s name. Monroe says they would not want anyone speculating on what happened and why before the investigation is complete, but he says there is no way to tell how long the investigation will take.

Fulton says all 13 victims were treated and released from the hospital by late Tuesday afternoon. She says Bald Head Island Limited hopes to try again to move the ferry tomorrow morning.


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