WATCH: Speeding boater causes damage to boats and docks on the Intracoastal Waterway

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, North Carolina (WWAY) – A boater reportedly caused extensive damage to boats and docks along the Intracoastal Waterway on Sunday.

A North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission officer said a man drove a 63-foot cruiser down the Surf City waterway toward Figure Eight Island.

Jon Purinai was sailing in the Hampstead area when he heard the commotion on the radio. Since he was close to where the action was taking place, he decided to find the boat and try to slow the boater down.

“Followed behind him for just a minute. Saw him swamp boats coming his way. Coming to Marsh Creek Marina, he threw a four to five foot wake and wrecked boats there said Purinai.

Purinai finally got close enough to get the boater’s attention by honking his horn. He says the boater turned around and Purinai motioned him to slow down, but the boater turned around and continued. Purinai says he’s not sure the boater realized he was communicating with him.

“They seemed unaware of the damage they were causing going down the waterway,” he said.

The New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office Marine Unit stopped the boat at the Figure Eight Island Bridge.

The boat was reportedly operated by an operator with no boater safety training. It was traveling at 15 miles per hour, producing a 3-4 foot wake and causing damage to boats and docks along the shore.

“He said he wasn’t going that fast, but you know a big boat like this can still cause a pretty big wake,” said NC wildlife officer Dern Crilley. “Even if you’re not in a no-wake zone and you’re outside of it, you have to be responsible for the things you cause.”

They say charges are pending against the operator of the boat.

The Wildlife Commission continues to investigate.

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