January 28, 2016

N.C. Marine Patrol rescues duck hunter from Roanoke Sound

N.C. Marine Patrol officers rescued a duck hunter who was in the water in Roanoke Sound Wednesday afternoon, Jan. 27.

Marine Patrol Officer Justin Lott was towing a boat across the Washington Baum Bridge around 3:30 p.m., after leaving a meeting at the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries’ Manteo Office, when he looked over the water and saw a small skiff adrift with no one on board. About 150 yards away from the boat, a man was standing in waist-deep water.

“He looked like he was trying to walk to the boat, but the boat kept moving away from him, then he started waving his hands at the bridge,” Lott said. “I could tell he was in trouble, so I got on the radio and started heading that way.”
Lott immediately reported the situation and headed to a nearby wildlife boating access area where he was met by Officers Chris Lee and Amos Williams, who were also heading home from the meeting.

“We jumped in the boat, (Lott) backed us down and as soon as the boat hit the water we took off,” Lee said.

When they reached the man, waves from 20-mph north winds were coming over his waders.

Wyatt Dewy Tillett, 18, of Manteo, told Lee that he was in a duck blind when his boat broke anchor. He jumped out of the blind to go after it into deeper water. Lee and Williams rescued Tillett from the water, retrieved his boat, and went back to the boating access area, where Dare County Emergency Management Services and the Manteo Police Department were waiting.

By this time, Marine Patrol Sgt. Odell Williams and Officer Alex Frye had arrived to help. Lott and Frye went back out in the boat to get Tillett’s friends, Rawls Willie McAdoo, 20, of Wanchese, and Carson Montgomery Creef, 19, of Kill Devil Hills, who were waiting in a nearby duck blind for their buddy to return.

McAdoo and Creef were OK. They just needed a ride back to the boat ramp. Tillett was cold and tired, but was not taken to the hospital, Lott said.

It could have been much worse if Marine Patrol officers had not been there.

 “I don’t know what the water temperature was, but it was pretty chilly,” Lott said. Tillett could have gone into hypothermia, he said.

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