Search underway for missing tow service captain in Pungo River

By on January 18, 2018

Search area is at the mouth of the Pungo River.

The Coast Guard and other agencies were searching Thursday morning for the captain of a towing service boat in the Pungo River southeast of Belhaven.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Station Hobucken received a call at approximately 1:20 a.m. reporting a 21-foot TowBoatUS vessel had capsized while towing a 47-foot recreational boat near the mouth of the Pungo River.

The 45-year-old captain was reported to be wearing coveralls, rubber boots and a lifejacket, according to a Coast Guard news release.


A 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew launched from Station Hobucken and an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew launched from Air Station Elizabeth City, and North Carolina Wildlife Law Enforcement and Beaufort County personnel are also involved in the search.

The man aboard the recreational boat being towed was taken to shore by a N.C. Wildlife crew to be evaluated by EMS.

“We’re working closely with our state and local partners,” said Cmdr. Matthew Moorlag, search and rescue mission coordinator for the case. “Our thoughts and prayers are with his family as we continue to search.”

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