Hovercraft and drone aid first responders in rescue of stranded kayakers stuck in the mud

Photo Credit: Oak Island Water Rescue
Photo Credit: Oak Island Water Rescue

OAK ISLAND, NC (WWAY) — Three people who were kayaking in a marsh at Oak Island this weekend had to be rescued after getting stuck in the mud.

A father and his two sons were kayaking when it appears the tide went out stranding them in the mud Sunday afternoon near NE 65th Street at Yacht Drive.

Some people nearby heard their screams for help around 3 p.m. and immediately called 911.

Oak Island Water Rescue (OIWR) responded to the scene with its hovercraft and assisted with the rescue of the stranded kayakers.

“Our hovercraft and crew got a little muddy in the process, but that is a very small price to pay for such a great ending,” according to the OIWR website.

The Oak Island Fire Department, Oak Island Police Department, Brunswick County EMS, and the United States Coast Guard also responded to the scene.

They were guided to the scene with the aid of a drone operated by OIWR personnel on the shore.

When the hovercraft arrived at the scene, they found three victims, two of which were stuck in the mud chest high. None of the victims had submerged in the water.

“This operation is a perfect example of the excellent interagency coordination that occurs between the many public safety agencies on Oak Island and in Brunswick County,” said OIWR. “Our hovercraft and drone saved three lives today, with a rising tide and two victims chest deep in mud and unable to escape, this was a deadly situation.”

Mud in coastal marshes can pose a danger because it is super soft and filled with oyster beads and sharp shells.


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