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A Sailboat Goes "Flying"

BoatUS Catastrophe Team continues clean up in the Carolinas

The BoatUS Catastrophe Response team carefully recovers a sailboat (credit: David R. Wiggin)
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CHERRY POINT, N.C., Oct. 1, 2018 – Just over two weeks after Hurricane Florence lumbered ashore near Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, the BoatUS Marine Insurance Catastrophe Response Team has made significant headway with recreational boat recoveries in the wake of the storm. Here, the team carefully recovers a sailboat from the grounds of Marine Corps Cherry Point Naval Air Station. The sailboat briefly “flies” over the crane and shoreline before safely re-entering the water.

While it will be a few more weeks before BoatUS issues an official recreational boat estimate for Hurricane Florence, BoatUS Catastrophe Field Team Leader Mike McCook notes that many vessels were placed out of harm’s way before the storm.

“When we arrived on Sept. 16, we found some severe damage at a few marinas, but also saw that in seeking protection from the storm, many boaters had removed their boats from the water,” said McCook. “We believe that the combination of many vessels being of a trailerable size, and that people in this part of the country are attuned to hurricanes and have embraced recreational boat hurricane preparation, were critical factors that reduced the potential for boat damage from Hurricane Florence.”

McCook noted that many marinas were full of boats stored ashore, and, “The majority of boat owners simply took their boats home and parked them in the driveway, on streets, in the middle of open fields and away from falling trees. They listened to the warnings.” Catastrophic total losses, or those vessels that were totally destroyed, appear to be minimal.

The team is expected to complete field recovery operations in about a week.

If you’d like to learn more about how to create a hurricane plan for your boat, go to


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About Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS):

Celebrating more than 50 years, BoatUS is the nation’s largest organization of recreational boaters with more than a half-million members. We are the boat owners’ voice on Capitol Hill and fight for their rights. We are The Boat Owners Auto Club and help ensure a roadside trailer breakdown doesn’t end a boating or fishing trip before it begins. When boats break down on the water, TowBoatUS brings them safely back to the launch ramp or dock, 24/7. The BoatUS Marine Insurance Program gives boat owners affordable, specialized coverage and superior service they need. We help keep boaters safe and our waters clean with assistance from the nonprofit BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water. Visit