A photo a day from Oriental, NC, the surrounding Pamlico County area, and nearby rivers, creeks, bays and other waterways of coastal North Carolina.

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Sunday, June 29, 2008

6.28- That Boat Won't Float...

"Tow Boat U.S." crews working to raise a Catalina 25 sailboat from Oriental channel with air bladders slung under the hull.

The annual Oriental Cup Regatta race was held today, despite a small craft advisory. A squall came through the area around the time the race was finishing up and boats were headed back to Oriental Harbor and Whittaker Creek, bringing gusts up to 50 knots, rain and plenty of lightning.

One boat was struck by lightning, and this Catalina (not in the race) capsized and sank in the channel into Oriental Harbor. Captain and crew got off safely with the help of a sailboat returning from the race.

This picture was taken around 7:00p.m., several hours after Tow Boat U.S. began the salvage operation. Around 8:00 pm the boat was finally floated and towed to Whittaker Creek.

The salvage effort by "Tow Boat U.S." involved the Oreintal-based Tow Boat U.S. team, and a Tow Boat U.S. crew (diving team) from Beaufort.

The salvagers first cut the halliard and lowered the sail (which remained partially above the surface), then dragged the boat away from the channel and into shallower water. Dive team then installed a bladder under the boat, filled it with air, and began pumping water out of the boat until it floated. All of this happened with steadily increasing winds (note the chop in the pictures) of 15-25 knots


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