Two boaters were ejected from their sailboat yesterday afternoon when they unexpectedly ran aground on a sandbar located in the St Augustine inlet off Anastasia State Park; according to a report filed by Fire Rescue Lt Jeremy Robshaw this morning.
Robshaw said high surf, rough water and rip currents associated with the sandbar, could have all contributed to the 30-foot vessel being capsized. A rescue boat, towing vessel and emergency personnel on jet ski, aided the recovery of the two victims.
“It appeared that the men missed the channel marker and hit the shoal,” Robshaw told reporters. “The St Augustine inlet can be treacherous.”
A rip current warning was in effect at the time of the accident and continues through tomorrow evening. According to a National Weather Service bulletin issued Friday, northeast winds will be around 20 mph with gusts to 30 mph. and breakers will be 4 to 6 feet.
Rip currents are powerful channels of water flowing quickly away from shore which occur, most often, at low spots or breaks in a sandbar and in the vicinity of structures such as groins, jetties and piers.
“Do not attempt to swim directly against a rip current because even a strong swimmer can become exhausted quickly,” Robshaw advised.
There were no reported injuries sustained in the boating accident. The two men refused to be taken to the hospital; however, the victims have reportedly asked for help from the American Red Cross.
The identity and residence of the two North Carolina boaters was not released.
Photo credits: © 2011 Historic City News archive photograph