MANNS HARBOR - For the second time this year, Ferry Division employees at the Cherry Branch Operations have assisted with a water rescue on the Neuse River.
At about 3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 11, the Cherry Branch office received a phone call from a teacher with Camp Seagull saying someone might be in distress in the water and could need assistance. Capt. Larry Mason onboard the Motor Vessel Stanford White was contacted about the possible distress and given the location as being Wilkinson Point on the Neuse River, approximately one-half mile east of the Minnesott Beach terminal.
Once the MV White approached the Minnesott Beach terminal, Mate Sonny Golden observed a kite boarder floating east on Wilkinson Point, and an individual running along the shoreline towards the terminal. Upon mooring, Oiler Doug Winn was dispatched to meet that person and determine if assistance was needed. Winn reported that the kite boarder was attached to the board and needed assistance.
As they are trained to do, the crew quickly went into action and a rescue boat was launched manned by Able Bodied Seaman Matthew Nelson and Ordinary Seaman Bryce Langdale. Langdale shouted as the boat was being readied for launch, "Real deal. No drill." He was also involved in a water rescue back in April of this year, when four people and a dog were rescued after an onboard vessel fire.
According to Capt. Mason, a strong northwest wind of 20 knots was reported testing the experience of the two ferry workers, who managed a flawless boat launch. The two approached the distressed kite boarder within five minutes. They assessed the situation and reported back to the MV White that the person was uninjured, but tangled in the line attached to the board.
Nelson and Langdale proceeded to untangle the kite boarder and brought him onboard the rescue boat for transport to the beach at Wilkinson Point.
Capt. Mason commended his crew for the quick response and for the expedient action and on-scene assessment of the situation by Able Bodied Seaman Nelson and Ordinary Seaman Langdale. The crew of the MV White who assisted in the rescue included Capt. Mason, Mate Golden, Chief Engineer Noah Lynk, AB Nelson, Oiler Winn, OS Langdale and OS Billy Willis. This Friday's event was AB Nelson's second rescue in his five-year career and Mate Sonny Golden's third rescue in his 24-year career.
Assistant Ferry Director of Operations Harold Thomas said, "I am very proud of this crew for their quick actions. We train regularly for this type of response and once again these guys have proven that our training pays off."
The crew of the MV Stanford White assisted a distressed kite boarder in the Neuse River Friday, Nov. 11. The kite boarder became tangled in his line and ferry personnel launched a rescue boat to assist and bring him to shore. This is the second time this year a ferry crew at the Cherry Branch operations has been involved in a water rescue. Pictured are (from left) Matt Nelson, Larry Mason, Bryce Langdale, Sonny Golden and Doug Winn. (Not pictured are Noah Lynk and Billy Willis). (NCDOT photo)