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More than 20 people were injured when a ferry traveling to Bald Head Island from Southport ran aground about 9 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 17.
“The Adventure,” a 64-foot ferry that runs between Deep Point Marina in Southport and Bald Head Island, hit a sandbar and stopped suddenly near Battery Island, just offshore from Southport, said Joyce Fulton, director of communications for Bald Head Island Limited, which owns the vessel.
Fifty-six people, including three crew members, were aboard the ferry when it ran aground.
At least one person was flown from the Southport marina to New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington. The injuries were “potentially serious,” Brunswick County public information officer Amanda Hutcheson said.
Twelve people were taken to Dosher Memorial Hospital in Southport by ambulance, spokesman Kirk Singer said. Seven others who had been involved in the ferry accident came in over the course of the next three hours and registered for treatment in the emergency room. Singer could not comment on the condition of the patients, except to say none of those injuries could be classified as serious.
“We were very pleased with how smoothly everything worked today,” Singer said. “Generally when there’s a mass injury situation like that, emergency services crews will call emergency rooms to see how many people can be brought in.
“We treated every individual that was brought to us. It was chaotic, but very organized. It could’ve been much worse. You hate to see anybody injured. We’re just so happy things went as well as they did after the incident.”
Military Ocean Termination Sunny Point, Brunswick County and Southport EMS crews responded to the incident and assisted the Coast Guard in assessing the injured passengers.
Efforts to refloat and recover the vessel from the sand bar were set to take place during high tide at 7:50 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 18, U.S. Coast Guard Lt. L.M. Munroe said.
The investigation into the incident is ongoing, Munroe said.
Sam Hickman is a staff writer for the Beacon. Reach him at 754-6890 or email@example.com.