Coast Guard medevacs 1, cites 4 with underage drinking near Wilmington NC

5th Coast Guard District News
WILMINGTON, N.C. — The Coast Guard medevaced a 19-year-old male after noticing a commotion aboard a 16-foot skiff near Wrightsville Beach, N.C., Tuesday.

At approximately 2:30 p.m., crewmembers aboard the Coast Guard Cutter Bayberry were on their way to Coast Guard Station Wrightsville Beach travelling along the inner coastal waterway when they noticed a 16-foot skiff in the middle of the channel.

“We saw people in the water around the vessel and something just didn’t look right,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Aaron Phillips, a boatswain’s mate aboard the Bayberry. “As we got closer to the vessel someone aboard a personal watercraft was yelling at us saying that we needed to stop.”

The skiff drifted to shallow water before the Bayberry crew could pull up alongside, so a first aid certified crewmember was taken aboard the personal watercraft to see if anyone needed medical attention. After arriving on-scene, he noticed an unconscious individual, not breathing and with no pulse. He began performing CPR until the subject regained consciousness.

“Immediately following, he became aggressive and started fighting with everyone aboard the skiff,” said Senior Chief Petty Officer Christopher Groom, the officer-in-charge of the Bayberry.

A good Samaritan towed the skiff closer to the Bayberry but because of the struggling aboard the skiff, the skiff took on water and sank. All six passengers and the Bayberry crewmember went into the water.

The Bayberry crew rescued all of the persons in the water.

A Coast Guard Station Wrightsville Beach 41-foot Utility Boat crew and a New Hanover County Sheriff’s crew arrived on scene. A sheriff joined the Coast Guard crew aboard the UTB to transport the 19-year-old male and one other non-compliant boater to the station. The previously unconscious boater was transferred to waiting EMS and the county sheriff took the other.

The four other boaters were transported aboard the Bayberry to station Wrightsville Beach.

All six boaters were underage and four were cited with underage drinking by the New Hanover County Sheriff Deputy.

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