Skipper Matthews sends a fresh report on a Problem Stretch south of Swansboro. The intersection of the Waterway and Browns Inlet has been the site of shoaling for some time, as well as a mysterious underwater hazard.
Came through here on May 25, 2014 at 745am. This one spot is mentioned here as a problem. Most advice says “stay to the red side” which I have during 4 passages without incident. However this last Sunday, going southbound, I passed a trawler going northbound a few miles south of this spot. Later on channel 16, I heard his call to USCG and his tow service with the words “engine runs but prop not turning”. As USCG was contacting him and asking him to verify his position, he did. N34,36.41, W077,13.84. The same spot.
There are multiple references which mention bent shafts and struts, and damaged props. Most shoaling reports merely mention that someone got stuck or kicked up some mud. This is one of the few that consistently mentions damaged hardware.
On a prior visit, I photoed a tug stuck here:
Notice the prop wash to the side. I hailed him but no answer. Saw him later heading south, obviously freed.
Came through that spot (Browns Inlet) at low tide with no problem. Draft 5 feet. May 30, 2014.
Raymond W. Smith – The “Firer Dog”
We went through the Brown Inlet area (marker 63) May 23 at near low tide with 10 ft at low tide. Just follow the marks. The problem is the temporary red and green are way off the normal channel and look like the are for a side channel. They are also in a straight line but they are for the intracoastal waterway marks.