WATCH: Speeding boater causes damage to boats, docks in Intracoastal Waterway

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A boater allegedly caused lots of damage to boats and docks along the Intracoastal Waterway on Sunday.

An NC Wildlife Resources Commission Officer says a man drove a 63-foot Cabin Cruiser down the waterway from Surf City towards Figure Eight Island.

Jon Purinai was boating in the area of Hampstead when he heard the commotion on the radio. Since he was close to where the action was happening, he decided to find the boat and try to get the boater to slow down.

“Followed behind him for just a minute. Saw him swamping boats coming toward him. As he got to Marsh Creek Marina, he threw a four to five-foot wake and wrecked boats there pretty bad,” Purinai said.

Purinai eventually got close enough to get the boater’s attention by honking his horn. He says the boater turned around and Purinai motioned for him to slow down, but the boater turned around and kept going. Purinai says he isn’t sure if the boater realized he was communicating with him.

“They seemed to be oblivious to the damage they were causing going down the waterway,” he said.

The New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office ‘Marine Unit’ stopped the boat at the Figure Eight Island Bridge.

The boat was reportedly driven by an operator with no boater safety training. It was going 15 miles per hour, producing a 3-4 foot wake and causing some damage to boats and docks along the shore.

“He said he wasn’t going that fast but you know a large boat like that can still cause a pretty big wake,” NC Wildlife Officer Dern Crilley said. “Even though you’re not in a no wake zone and you’re outside of it, you need to be responsible for the things you cause.”

They say charges are pending against the boat operator.

The Wildlife Commission is continuing to investigate.

Categories: Local, New Hanover, News, Pender, Top Stories