Friday, February 22

TowBoatUS Boat Capsizes, Captain Drowns in Frigid North Carolina Water

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A 21-foot TowBoatUS boat capsized in the mouth of the Pungo River near Pamlico Sound, North Carolina, while it was towing a 47-foot recreational boat at 1:20 in the morning. After a search by the Coast Guard (pictured top) and as many as ten local boats, the body of the captain, James W. Cleary, Jr., 45, of Belhaven, was found two days later, only 50 feet from where his boat had capsized. Cleary left a wife, two daughters and a son.

We don’t have any details about the tragedy, other than that Coast Guard watchstanders at Station Hobucken received a call at 1:20 in the morning, saying that a TowBoatUS boat had capsized and the captain was missing. Cleary had been wearing coveralls, rubber boats and a lifejacket, but the water in the river was frigid.

The Coast Guard sent a 47-foot response boat from Hobucken and a Jayhawk helicopter from Elizabeth City to the scene. One man on the boat being towed was taken ashore. At dawn some ten local boats also joined the search. A county dive team ultimately recovered Cleary’s body. Read more:



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