August 5, 2013
Charter boat hits Bonner Bridge;
DOT says bridge not damaged
By IRENE NOLAN
A 57-foot charter boat out of Pirate’s Cove Marina with nine people on board hit the Bonner Bridge early this morning.
North Carolina Department of Transportation reports on its NC 12
Facebook page that engineers have inspected the bridge and found no
The U.S. Coast Guard reported that three passengers on
the boat were possibly injured, but DOT says on the Facebook page that
there were no injuries.
A concerned boater aboard the vessel
West Wind witnessed the allision – a nautical term for a boat hitting a
stationary object -- and contacted Coast Guard Sector North Carolina
watchstanders via VHF-FM marine radio channel 16 at approximately 5:45
The West Wind boater reported that the charter boat, Sandra
D, struck one of the support pilings of the bridge, resulting in a
5-foot by 10-foot hole in the boat's bow and possible injuries to three
of the passengers aboard.
Watchstanders deployed crews from
Coast Guard Station Oregon Inlet aboard a 47-foot Motor Life Boat and a
24-foot Special Purpose Craft - Shallow Water to assist.
A good Samaritan was in the area and assisted in taking the passengers off the Sandra D.
approximately 6:10 a.m., the crew aboard the MLB arrived on scene and
removed seven people from the good Samaritan's boat and
transported them to shore where they were met by Dare County Emergency
Medical Services personnel.
The Sandra D's owner intentionally
grounded his boat to keep it from sinking. The Coast Guard crew
aboard the SPC-SW then retrieved the owner and a crewman and took them
back to shore.
Coast Guard watchstanders issued a safety
marine information broadcast concerning the Sandra D's position and its
potential to be a hazard to navigation.
According to the Pirate’s Cove website, the Sandra D is captained by Keith Baer.
Sandra D was using an alternate unmarked channel to the south of the
main channel under the bridge. Some boats have been using this
alternate channel because it is deeper than the marked channel under
"The mariners and the Coast Guard are extremely lucky
that there were no significant injuries or damage to the bridge in this
allision," said Lt. Lane Munroe, the command center chief at Coast
Guard Sector North Carolina.
"Mariners are reminded to use
marked channels and transit at safe speeds to minimize the inherent
risk of boating in the vicinity of structures,” he said. “Using
alternate bridge spans, which do not have fender systems to protect the
bridge from vessel strikes and are not marked with navigational aids
greatly increases the risk to the boating public as well as the
vehicles using the bridge."