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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A boat docked in the Cape Fear River sank last night and is still there today.

Crews spent hours this afternoon trying to salvage the boat named Sea Star. All that is visible above the water is the boat’s roof. It was a bed and breakfast known as the Jubilee Snooze & Cruise, which also helped support ministry work around Wilmington.

The boat’s owner blames logs in the Cape Fear for sinking his ship.

“There were lots of logs in the river yesterday. Lots of logs,” Thurman Burgess said. “A few years ago, the (Army) Corps of Engineers used to clean up the river, but they stopped doing that. We don’t have the funds to do that anymore.”

Burgess says the logs may have hit the boat’s shaft creating an entrance for water. He lost his boat, his business and his ministry.

An Army Corps of Engineers spokesman was not available today to comment on Burgess’s claim.

Comment on this Story

  • River Rat

    Sounds like an insurance “accident”. Logs don’t travel that fast in the river.

  • Guest7969

    that’s the reason anyone who knows that part of the river…reduces speed. It’s kind of like being shocked you lost your transom because you went full speed across Sutton Lake.

  • Sandy Ison

    This story hits close to home. On June 23 my fiancé Kevin and I were on the Northeast Cape Fear River in his bass boat. We were cruising about 30mph in 40 feet of water when, without warning, we hit a submerged log and came to sudden halt. The impact was so great it tore off the transom, with the engine still attached, from the back of the boat and on top us. Kevin’s injuries from the running prop blades were horrific. They ripped into his body and shredded his left arm nearly severing it completely at the shoulder. He nearly bled out before making it to shore. He was airlifted to UNC Chapel Hill where he remained for eight weeks (17 days of that in ICU). As if his injuries weren’t severe enough, he also contracted a terrible flesh eating type infection from his open wounds being exposed to the dirty river water. It was the most terrifying time of our lives.

    We later found out that news coverage of our accident was used as a summertime boating safety PSA of sorts. It happened so fast and there was no time to react defensively. Our lives were changed forever that day as Kevin is now an amputee. However we thank God every day for sparing us. And, we are also very grateful the skilled doctors and nurses, as well as the many “angels” who came to our rescue that day.

  • mariner bob

    I have seen whole trees floating down the river…I have seen 3′ diameter trunks lodged between the USCGC Diligence and their moorings that only flushed out once the cutter left for sea.

    Natural occurrence when most of the river is lined with forest. I don’t blame anyone, including the Army Corps of Engineers. Having them sweep the river for logs and deadheads would be goofy indeed.

    I would expect more of this at those new marinas planned up the river. It is a beautiful river, but vessels need to be sturdy.

  • Brian

    Bilge Pump.


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