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FIRST ON 3: BHI ferry moves to dry dock, captain keeping quiet

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A Bald Head Island ferry is again on dry land, but off a sand bar. And we’re learning more about the man who was reportedly in charge of the vessel when it ran aground Tuesday.

WWAY has learned the captain was Rodney Melton.

We went to Melton’s house looking for answers. He did not want to do an interview with us, but his wife says he has already talked to the passengers injured in the accident. Cathy Melton did not want to say more.

“All questions are to be directed to the (Bald Head Island Limited) Director of Communications Joyce Fulton, and if you would, please leave,” Cathy Melton said.

Fulton would not confirm if Melton was the captain when the ferry Adventure ran aground Tuesday morning. She did say the captain involved is not on the ferry schedule as the Coast Guard investigates. She could not say, though, if that will continue until the investigation is done.

Melton’s neighbor had only good things to say about him.

“Mr. Melton is a good man, and everyone who knows him thinks he is a good man,” Emery Rahrs said.

Meanwhile, the boat has finally been freed from a sand bar off Southport. Fulton says Thursday morning crews used a tugboat to recover the ferry without damaging the boat. The ferry then traveled without help to dry dock at Wilmington Marine Center.

Fulton says now a complete inspection can be made on the boat.

The Coast Guard investigation into the incident continues.


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