See a stranded boat? Call a professional

Updated: Jul. 10, 2019 at 1:58 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - An uplifting side of human nature is our inclination to help others.

Thankfully, that urge to lend a hand is often rewarding for those being helped as well as the helpers but there are times when what we want to do and what we're capable of doing are not equal.

On Monday, Brian Christopher Wren died after a boat towing accident near Trail’s End Park. Clayton Ludwick with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission said Wren was a passenger on a boat that was attempting to help free another vessel stuck on a sandbar between Carolina Beach Inlet and Trails End Park.

Captain Scott Collins, a Coast Guard veteran who has worked with Sea Tow for more than 15 years, said these types of accidents are more common than most people think.

"I can't tell you how many times on the weekends I see people trying to do what we do on the water," Collins said.

Sea Tow offers a variety of marine services for its members, including towing boats that become stuck.

Calling on professionals in those instances should supersede the motivation to do it yourself.

"I love to see people out there helping each other," Collins said. "That's great. That's what I do for a living is help other people but the jobs we do out on the water seem so simplistic to us because of our training and experience. There's too many things out there that people do not recognize that we would instantly see and be able to assess."

Sea Tow was not called to Monday’s accident, but Collins said he feels for the families involved and hopes other boaters might learn a lesson from Wren’s death.

While fatalities caused by towing accidents are rare, injuries resulting from things like inadequate ropes snapping and equipment breaking off boats could be easily prevented, according to Collins.

“I think the big thing here is, you’ve really got to know when to say when,” Collins said. “We’re licensed professionals, captain’s license with ongoing training. We do this on a daily basis and you really just need to know when you’re out of your league doing certain things on the water.”

Even if people refuse Sea Tow’s services, Collins said members of the team will usually provide guidance and oversee boat towing attempts in an effort to prevent injuries.

For more information on Sea Tow, call 1-800-4-SEATOW or click here.

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