Beaufort News

Shrimp boat slams into Harbor River Bridge

A shrimp boat rammed into the Harbor River Bridge on Monday night, causing the span to be closed for several hours to boat and car traffic.

The Brown Eyed Girl was being towed by another shrimp boat, Four Girls 2, when the tow cable snapped, authorities said. The Brown Eyed Girl, which had three crew members aboard, hit the bridge and got stuck at about 8:30 p.m. The bridge is on U.S. 21 and stretches from St. Helena Island to Harbor Island.

Responders from various agencies, including the Beaufort Water Search & Rescue Squad, Beaufort County EMS, the U.S. Coast Guard and several fire departments, worked to free the Brown Eyed Girl from the bridge. The tide was rising, and the boat was taking on water. Local fishermen helped to pump the water out of the boat, while rescue workers untangled the boat's lines from the bridge to free it.

Rescue workers also tended to a man who was on the Four Girls 2. He was injured when the cable snapped while towing the Brown Eyed Girl. The cable hit him in the face. The extent of his injuries was unknown. The three crew members on the Brown Eyed Girl were unharmed and remained on the boat during the rescue.

The shrimp boat was freed at about 10:30 p.m. and towed away.

Emergency personnel don't believe any damage occurred to the bridge, but inspectors are expected to survey the bridge today.