Three people saved after boat sinks off North Topsail Beach

Local

NORTH TOPSAIL BEACH, N.C. (WNCT) — People in North Topsail Beach are finding more than sand and seashells along the shore.

They’re finding a boat, or what’s left of one.

On Dec. 30, Lawrence Hansley and two others headed out to sea with Hansley’s shrimp boat, Salty Boy. It’d been six or seven months since he was on the inlet. While out on the water, the team entered a channel not far off NTB.

“We went through a set of buoys, and I know we had to line up for the red buoys, but we didn’t see the red buoy,” said Hansley.

That’s when they were caught between the devil and the deep blue sea. The boat touched the bottom of the seafloor, coming up onto a sand bar, and ran aground.

It was all hands on deck. Hansley and his crew grabbed their life jackets and watched the vessel go down.

“Once we were aground, the water was in the boat then, we were trying to stay out of the water because it was so cold on our feet,” Hansley said.

The team was left high and dry, battling the rough waves and cold temperatures. Coast Guard officials said the power went out and the three boaters were unable to pump out water.

“We was all scared to a certain extent, you know anytime your life is in jeopardy,” said Hansley.

Coast Guard officials said the boaters were on deck for about an hour until they and the Turkey Creek volunteer firefighters were able to come to their rescue.

Hansley’s hands are financially tied and unable to save the ship. At this time, he is not sure whether he will buy another vessel. Hansley took ownership of the boat last March and says it is a $50,000 loss.

He plans to be back at sea soon and hopes for much smoother sailing.

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