Boat capsizes near Shallotte Inlet; USCG rescues two

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By Rachel Johnson, Staff Writer

SHALLOTTE—Two men were rescued after their boat capsized in the Intracoastal Waterway.

The Coast Guard station on Oak Island received a call just after noon on Sunday, Nov. 18 from the motor vessel Liberty.

According to USCG Petty Officer 2nd Class Leonard Posluszny, the Liberty reported a small white fishing vessel had turned over in the Intracoastal waterway across from Inlet View in Shallotte. The boat was a 12-foot flat-bottomed skiff.

The boat was in the waterway between the Shallotte River and the Shallotte Inlet.

“At 12:17 p.m. station Oak Island diverted (boat) 25666, the El Diablo, that was on patrol in Ocean Isle to respond to two persons in the water,” said USCG petty officer Leonard Posluszny.

Posluszny was the coxswain and the officer of the day during the rescue operation, meaning he was the boat’s captain and the officer in charge of the rescue.

“The 25666 arrived on the scene at approximately 12:21 p.m.,” Posluszny said. “We saw the boat and came alongside it and pulled the two men out of the water.”

The men were clinging to the side of the overturned boat when the USCG arrived. The two men were an uncle and a nephew ages 68 and 48. Posluszny said the men reported being in the water for nearly 30 minutes. Both men showed signs of hypothermia and the older gentleman showed signs of shock. They were wearing life jackets.

“They were brought on board and into the cabin with the heater on,” Posluszny said. “We took them to Inlet View and awaited EMS.”

Posluszny said they borrowed extra dry blankets and towels from the restaurant while they awaited EMS transport. Both men were transported to the Brunswick Novant Medical Center.

Posluszny said the fishing boat was about 12 feet and was overturned when they arrived on the scene.

“According to the gentleman on the boat, they were hauling in their flounder net and a larger vessel came by and waked them out,” he said. “It was a pretty nasty day out there yesterday.”

"The fact these boaters were wearing life jackets helped save their lives today," said Capt. Anthony Popiel, the Coast Guard Sector North Carolina commander on Sunday. "However, boaters need to be extra vigilant this time of year as air and water temperatures have dropped dramatically. Hypothermia can set in very quickly so boaters need to prepare appropriately for the cold weather."


Rachel Johnson is a staff writer at The Brunswick Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or rjohnson@brunswickbeacon.com.