Shrimp boat runs aground along Holden Beach coast


HOLDEN BEACH, NC (WWAY) — What started as a normal day on the job turned into a bit of nightmare for one shrimp boat captain. Big Earl, the shrimp boat, washed up on the beach in Holden Beach.

“It reminds me of Blackbeard Queen Anne’s Revenge,” tourist, Duke Ison said.

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Boat Captain, Virgil Coleman said he got in trouble around 4 p.m. Thursday.

“He was drifting in real close to shore which looked strange,” Ison said. “And then suddenly from drifting in he just edged on in to the beach.”

Coleman said he, along with another person had just started shrimping when the winds caused a net to get stuck in the boat’s propeller. The current winds pushed the boat closer to shore overnight and eventually beached the ship on the east end of the island.

“I feel bad for the captain cause we’re all just standing right here, just staring, and he’s trying to figure out how to get his boat out,” tourist, Deborah Driggers said.

Coleman told WWAY he called a towing company but their boats able to pull Big Earl were broken. Coleman said his friend was supposed to come help this afternoon but never showed.

“What I hope happens is he’s able to get a big boat, pull him off, tow him in, and the damage will be minimal,” Ison said.

People on the beach brought Coleman food and water throughout the day.

“I was hunting a parking space and when I turned around and started walking here I could see the top of the shrimp boat coming over the hill,” Driggers said. “I’m like oh man I just hate it for him.”

After being on the water for two days now, Coleman said he just wants to go home.

“I hope it don’t happen to him again because the poor fella won’t ever live it down if it happens again,” Driggers said.

As of now the only damage to Big Earl is the net they had to cut off the propeller.

Coleman said they will try again Saturday morning around 5 a.m. to get the boat back out to sea.

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