Two People Rescued On Neuse River

Pair Abandon Inflatables After They Reported Seeing An Alligator

CLAYTON – Thursday afternoon, a 22-year-old man and 13-year-old boy were on two inflatable tubes tied together with a life preserver floating down the Neuse River near Clayton.  The brothers put in at the Clayton River Walk parking lot off Covered Bridge Road.

Not long into their float, they reported seeing an alligator. They said they attempted to get toward the safety of a river bank and were able to grab a large tree near the north side of the river and get to shore.

One of them called their mother to report what happened and she called 911. She advised her sons to call 911 themselves so the rescuers might better be able to locate them.

NC Fish & Wildlife were contacted about the river incident and Clayton Police, Clayton Fire, Archer Lodge Fire and the Johnston County Sheriff’s Department responded immediately.

A Clayton police officer located the boys on the opposite shore from the greenway. The Clayton Fire Department launched its rescue boat and the brothers were safely picked up and brought back to the greenway.

They are both fine. Neither was wearing a preserver at the time of the incident. They had the one preserver connecting their two inner tubes.

There is no confirmation as to whether an alligator was actually in the river.

Clayton officials caution that the Neuse is a swift moving river with a large amount of debris. Anyone boating or floating the river should wear a life preserver at all times for their safety.

Photo by John Payne