Coast Guard stops runaway boat near Pamlico County

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HOBUCKEN, Pamlico County - The Coast Guard stopped a runaway boat near Pamlico County.

Watchstanders in the Coast Guard Sector North Carolina Command Center in Wilmington were notified around 9:45 a.m. that a 14-foot jon boat was spinning in circles with no one aboard near Goose Creek and Dixon Creek.

Watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast and a 24-foot Special Purpose Craft-Shallow Water crew launched from Station Hobucken to assist. The crew arrived on scene to discover that a wake had ejected the jon boat's operator into the water and caused the tiller of the boat to turn. A good Samaritan picked up the boat's operator by the time the SPC-SW crew arrived. The crew approached the boat and stopped it from spinning. The good Samaritan transferred the ejected operator back on board, and the Coast Guard escorted him safely to the nearest dock.

"All boaters should wear kill switches," said Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class JC Tyus, the Coast Guard coxswain for the case, referring to switches that can be worn on the wrist and can automatically disable an engine. "If the boater was wearing a kill switch, he could have stopped the boat."