Boater Rescued From Neuse River

A boater was rescued from the Neuse River early Sunday morning after he failed to return from a fishing trip Saturday afternoon.

Smithfield Police said the boater launched from the Town Commons for an afternoon of fishing on the Neuse River near the US 301 bridge. When he didn’t return on time his wife called 911.

It turns out the victim’s boat tipped over and he lost his cell phone, paddles and lights.  He was able to upright the boat but it quickly moved downstream in the dark for several hours.

The man, who did not give his name, was found near the Richardson Bridge Road boat ramp by a Wayne County Sheriff’s Office helicopter. He was rescued and brought to safety at the Richard Bridge boat ramp around 3:00am.

The Smithfield Fire Department, Smithfield Police Department, NC Wildlife Enforcement, Johnston County Sheriff’s Office, Grantham Fire Department and volunteer boaters assisted with the rescue.

The man was reunited with his wife around 5:00am at the Smithfield Town Commons.  Luckily he was not injured during the ordeal.  Photos by John Payne