Twelve people rescued after pontoon boat nose-dives in Currituck sound

[Lower Currituck VFD photo]

Twelve people, including several children, were rescued Friday evening after an overloaded pontoon boat nose-dived in rough water in the Currituck Sound.

The incident happened at approximately 6:50 p.m. off Dews Island near Jarvisburg, according to N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission Law Enforcement Sgt. John Beardsley.

Currituck County Sheriff Office deputies and Lower Currituck Volunteer Fire Department personnel responded first, and rescued the 12 people from the water. The vessel was also recovered.

The proper number of personal floatation devices were on board, and the children were wearing life jackets, according to Beardsley.

“No one suffered any injuries beyond first aid, and the vessel was able to be driven back to the dock,” Beardsley said.

He said the vessel took significant water over the bow, and that the people on board were visitors from out-of-town in a rental pontoon boat.

“The incident occurred due to rough water conditions and too many people sitting in the forward portion of the vessel,” said Beardsley. “Pontoon boats are not well equipped to handle rough water.”

“The Wildlife Commission would like to remind boaters that it is vital to distribute the weight in a vessel evenly and to slow down, especially in rough conditions,” Beardsley said.

“The Currituck County Sheriff’s deputies and (Lower Currituck) Fire Department deserve all the recognition for the rescue,” Beardsley added.

“These guys were first to the call and are vital to our success as Wildlife officers and the safety of our community,” Beardsley said.

Beardsley also gave direct credit to CCSO eputies Jessie Taylor and Jeremy Evans for their efforts.

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Sam Walker was news director for, Beach 104, 99.1 The Sound, Big 94.5 WCMS and Z 92.3 from August 2011 to March 2022.