Beaufort News

Fripp rescue crew plucks boaters from pluff mud, thunderstorm

Two adults and three children were rescued by volunteers Saturday night after their boat became stranded off Fripp Island in a thunderstorm.

When the craft's gasoline motor broke down, its operators attempted to use a small trolling motor to return to the nearby marina, said Fripp Island Sea Rescue skipper Paul Field. They became disoriented and turned into a small creek about a quarter-mile north of their destination, then got mired in the marsh.

"They weren't in any immediate danger other than being out there in the lightning," Field said.

Sea Rescue volunteers arrived at about 7:30 p.m. Field said theywere alarmed when a bolt of lightning hit nearby -- perhaps a mile away. However, the vessel was towed to safety by about 9 p.m.without incident.