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Bald Head Island Ferry runs aground near Battery Island; 13 people injured

U.S. Coast Guard
Bald Head Island Ferry "Adventure" grounded off the coast of Southeastern North Carolina

It was just after 9 AM Tuesday morning when the Bald Head Island Ferry "Adventure" traveling to Bald Head Island from Southport ran aground near Battery Island. 

The impact of the grounding injured thirteen people – one potentially seriously.  That person was taken to New Hanover Regional Medical Center.  Eleven others went to nearby Dosher Hospital in Southport for treatment.  

WWAY’s Sarah Murphy was on the scene and spoke to some deeply-shaken passengers.

“People I talked to described the crash as something you’d see out of a movie.  They told me people were thrown about the boat, people were bloodied, bloody noses, and a lot complaining of back pain.”

Coast Guard Spokesman Lieutenant Lane Munroe says the beached vessel will remain on land until high tide – when the ferry operator will attempt to re-float it.   Munroe won’t speculate as to why a passenger ferry, which travels the same route multiple times a day seven days a week could have run aground. 

Coast Guard Lieutenant Lane Munroe

“Situations of a ferry running aground with injuries in the state of North Carolina is extremely rare…"

But the cause of the accident, he says, is under investigation.

"At this point, the Coast Guard does not have a discernible reason why the ferry ran aground.”

Rachel hosts and produces CoastLine, an award-winning hourlong conversation featuring artists, humanitarians, scholars, and innovators in North Carolina. The show airs Wednesdays at noon and Sundays at 2 pm on 91.3 FM WHQR Public Media. It's also available as a podcast; just search CoastLine WHQR. You can reach her at rachellh@whqr.org.