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Three Hypothermic Occupants Of Overturned Boat Rescued

Cape Lookout National Seashore

National Park News

On Friday, November 28th, protection ranger Shad Dusseau responded to an assistance call from the US Coast Guard concerning an overturned small boat in the surf at Shackleford Banks Island. At the time of the call, the wind was blowing around 20 mph with a four- to six-foot breaking surf, an air temperature of 54 degrees, and a water temperature of 51 degrees. When Dusseau arrived, he found an overturned boat in the surf, with its three wet, hypothermic former occupants sitting on the beach without protection from the wind. The trio were treated for mild hypothermia and minor injuries and were provided with dry clothing. Park horse biologist Dr. Sue Stuska and park resource volunteer Margaret Wallace, who were working on the island at the time, were contacted for assistance in moving the three survivors. During the course of the rescue, a local boat towing service attempted to remove the stricken craft from the beach. The operator of the tow boat wrapped a line around both the boat’s props and drifted into the surf, very nearly becoming another victim. A second towing service pulled him to safety. The original damaged craft was subsequently removed and no significant environmental damage was noted.


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