Nearing the end of his 9:30 a.m. run from Ocracoke on Saturday, North Carolina Ferry Captain Mark Piner noticed an unusual sight in Swan Quarter Bay — an overturned boat with two people hanging onto it.
Immediately, Piner contacted the U.S. Coast Guard and ordered the M/V Silver Lake’s rescue boat launched. Crew members Daniel Smith and Simon Robinette piloted the rescue boat to the capsized vessel, pulling George and Justin Peele out of the water and into the rescue boat.
After determining that both men were unharmed, the crew brought the father and son onboard the M/V Silver Lake, and the ferry completed its run to Swan Quarter. Upon reaching the ferry terminal, crew member Robinette returned both men to their vehicle at a nearby boat ramp.
“Once again, our crews have demonstrated that their training pays off,” said Ferry Division Director Ed Goodwin. “It should be a comfort to boaters all across eastern North Carolina that our ferry crews stand ready and able to assist any boaters they find in distress.”
The rescue was the fourth such action by ferry crews in the past two years. On Sept. 26, 2013, the crew of the M/V Cedar Island rescued two sailors in rough seas just off of Ocracoke. In separate incidents on March 29 and July 4 of this year, N.C. Ferry Division crews came to the aid of men whose sailboats had overturned in the Neuse River.