Bald Head ferry still stuck in sand, passengers released from hospital

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BALD HEAD ISLAND, N.C. -- Several passengers who were taken to the hospital Tuesday after the Bald Head Island ferry struck a sand bar have been treated and released.

According to the Coast Guard, a total of 53 passengers and three crew members were on the ferry when it ran a aground around 9:15 a.m. Tuesday.

Officials said 13 people were injured, however are all expected to be okay.

It remains unclear what caused the accident. Members of the Coast Guard are investigating.

The ship's transponder sent a message at 9:13 a.m. Tuesday that the ship was traveling at 20 mph. At 9:14 a.m., the ship was traveling at 0 mph.

Personnel from Bald Head Island Transportation attempted to re-float the Adventure at approximately 10:30 a.m. Wednesday during high tide without success.

The owner of Bald Head Island Transportation is working to submit a salvage plan of the Adventure for Coast Guard approval before any additional action is taken.

The crew of the Adventure initially contacted Coast Guard Station Oak Island watchstanders via VHF-FM channel 16 at approximately 9 a.m. Tuesday reporting they ran aground, and passengers aboard were in need of medical assistance.

Coast Guard Sector North Carolina watchstanders issued a marine assistance request broadcast and dispatched crews aboard a 47-foot Motor Life Boat, a 25-foot Response Boat - Small from Coast Guard Station Oak Island and diverted the crew of the Coast Guard Cutter Bayberry to assist.

The crew of the Bayberry used their shallow water skiff to medevac 14 passengers and one crewmen who where injured when the Adventure ran aground. The crew from the Bayberry then transferred the injured to the 47-foot MLB and the 25-foot RB-S and took them to Deep Point Marina where they were met by local emergency medical services.

Partner agencies from Bald Head Island, Towboat US and the Brunswick County Sheriff's Office assisted the non-injured passengers and transferred them to the Bald Head Island Ferry Ranger.

Coast Guard investigators are working to determine the cause of the grounding.

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