Ferry disaster averted thanks to tourist

Oct. 2, 2008 at 2:31 PM
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RALEIGH, N.C., Oct. 2 (UPI) -- A near-collision of two ferries in North Carolina's Hatteras Inlet was narrowly averted thanks to the alertness and skill of a tourist, a ferry captain says.

Veteran ferry boat captain Ronnie Van O'Neal said after the captain of another ferry suddenly collapsed last month while guiding his vessel through the waterway, a passenger named Jason Bosley took it upon himself to steer the ferry away from O'Neal's oncoming ship, The (Norfolk) Virginian Pilot said Thursday.

O'Neal said Bosley, a licensed boat pilot, guided the vessel next to his ferry so that he could leap aboard and help the impromptu captain.

"The tourists more or less took over," said O'Neal, who also credited passengers Susan Hilton and Linda Kern for attempting to revive captain Lowell Schroder. "It was just lucky for the people that somebody was there who knew how to hold a boat in the wind."

Schroder was later pronounced dead of an apparent heart attack.

Bosley, 35, told the Virginian Pilot he was acting on instinct.

"At that point in time, it was instinctive to take the wheel, at least to keep the ferry in the channel," Bosley told the newspaper.

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