OKI Water Rescue searches ocean for potential debris, missing cars after Isaias


OAK ISLAND, NC (WWAY) — Three weeks after Isaias, people in Oak Island are still cleaning up mess, which includes stray debris, furniture and even cars. Oak Island Water Rescue is now trying to make sure none of it’s stuck in the ocean.

“The way this storm hit us so hard with so much surge, I’ve never seen this much stuff in the water all at once,” Oak Island Water Rescue Chief Tony Young said.

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Young says they heard some cars that got displaced could still be missing.

“And presumed to be in the water, ” he said. “We have no way of verifying that, but we knew there was a lot of other debris. If you look around here, you can see there are a lot of porches, a lot of stairs missing.”

On Sunday, Young says his team flew a drone over the ocean to search for any potential debris or objects, and found on area of interest. He says they flew the drone from The Point, to around two miles east of there.

“We saw some kind of a big, dark object, and we said that’s something that could potentially hurt somebody,” he said. “Either a boat, or just swimming out here.”

On Tuesday night, OKI Water Rescue went back to figure out whether something could actually be lurking in the water.

“So now we’re trying to relocate it by hand by sticking sticks down into the water,” Young said. “Because if there’s something dangerous out there either to people or the environment, we’d like to find it and get it out of there if we can.”

However, choppy conditions made the search difficult. Young says they’ll be back out again during the week with help from the Coast Guard.

“This is kind of a wild search, but we did see something,” he said. “So we’re trying to do our part to try to find out what it is, and make sure it’s nothing that’s going to hurt anybody.”

Young says they also reached out to The National Response Center, which would take over if anything was actually found in the water.