Boat hits Beaufort drawbridge: Slows traffic - WNCT

Boat hits Beaufort drawbridge: Slows traffic

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A boat hits a drawbridge late Saturday night, and slows traffic along a Beaufort bridge, along Highway 70 in Carteret County.

It happened at 10:15 p.m. on Saturday.

 Bridge tender, Larry Brown, said he noticed a boat, the "Alex Marine," had drifted from the dock and headed for the bridge.

 Brown said the tide and wind kept shifting the boat. Eventually, the boat turned all the away around and hit the drawbridge bow first.

" It collided with the bridge and made [some] noise, because it's a steel vessel against concrete. At that point, I'm reaching for my phone and I'm talking with The Coast Guard telling them that we have a vessel that is incapacitated and it just hit our bridge," said Brown.

Boat owner, Matthew Crawley, said he got a call while eating dinner at a near by restaurant.

"I was frantic, I came down here to the other boat and said ‘Try to get me to my boat,' and he said I can't go down there because I almost crashed myself. So, I ran all the way back to the drawbridge and climbed into the boat off the drawbridge," said Crawley.

The boat was tied to pylons on the dock; but, they started to bend. That's when it's believed the ties came loose and caused the boat to drift off.

Crawley said the damage to his boat is not that bad.

" We broke a few stay wires, and couple of lights, and bent some metal. Nothing structurally too bad, nothing we can't handle fixing,'' said Crawley.

The bridge is open, but, traffic is slowed in both directions until engineers determine the extent of the damage to the bridge.

The Coast Guard is still investigating the cause of the accident

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