Belle of Topsail loses power, 50 passengers evacuated - WECT, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

Dinner boat breaks down, 50 passengers evacuated

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SURF CITY, NC (WECT) – The Belle of Topsail broke down with 50 passengers (including crew) on board.

The dinner boat lost power about a mile south of the Surf City bridge, in the Intracoastal Waterway. The captain was able to anchor the boat. The Johnson family was on board the boat for a rehearsal dinner. Their daughter is getting married tomorrow. Pirates were going to kidnap her from the boat as part of the show.

The captain of the Belle of Topsail contacted Coast Guard Sector North Carolina watchstanders at approximately 6:55 p.m. reporting the boat had engine trouble, and they were anchored.

The Coast Guard, the Surf City Fire Department, and the Pirates ferried the passengers off of the vessel. Sector North Carolina watchstanders launched a crew aboard a 41-foot Utility Boat from Coast Guard Station Wrightsville Beach, NC, to assist. Pender County fire department boat crews responded as well. They wanted to get passengers off the boat before towing it away.

Chief Bates with the Coast Guard said no one was hurt. He said they're going to try to tow the boat tonight. The Johnson's as well as several other passengers said the crew of the boats and all the responders did a wonderful job handling the situation.

The boat is a 55 foot replica of an 1880's riverboat. The crew offers dinner cruises five nights a week and can be rented for special events.

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