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WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) — What started as a relaxing fishing trip quickly turned into a very scary situation for three men Thursday.

After hours of working to get a boat that flipped in Rich’s Inlet near Figure Eight Island upright, Sea Tow returned it back to shore. The Coast Guard and the private boat towing company were called out to the site of the accident Thursday morning after word that a boat with three passengers capsized.

Captain Robert Lomax of Sea Tow was the first to get there. He says he got all three men out of the water and then began working on getting the boat. He says the fishermen must have been caught off guard.

“They left Masonboro Inlet and drove down the beach to fish on the outside of Rich’s Inlet there,” Lomax said. “They just got too close to the bar and took a wave over the port side and it flipped them over. Quickly.”

Lomax says all three men on the 19-foot Twin Vee boat were in their eighties and suffered minor injuries like scrapes and bruises. He says one man may have broken his foot and a rib but refused to go to the hospital. He says luckily, all the men had life jackets.

“We get reports all the time of people who break down just outside the surf zone without proper safety equipment,” Lomax said. “An anchor for instance or just enough life jackets for people on board, or a working fire extinguisher. It’s little things that make a really big difference on how the story goes.”

For now, Lomax says the boat will be docked and assessed for damages. He says he thinks it’s going to take a lot of work to get back out on the water.

We attempted to reach out to the boaters involved in the accident, but we have not heard back.

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