Makeshift boat washes ashore after Tropical Storm Colin

Makeshift boat washes up in Caswell Beach
Published: Jul. 6, 2022 at 7:47 AM CDT
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CASWELL BEACH, N.C. (WECT/Gray News) - Storms often lead to neat finds on the beach after they pass, but Tropical Storm Colin washed up something unique: a makeshift boat.

“On this beach alone, I’ve found so many whole sand dollars. I’m always looking for something, but I was never looking for that,” Caswell Beach resident Penny Tindall told WECT.

Penny Tindall, Addison Tindall and Kalaya Johnson went to the beach on Sunday in hopes of getting a tan and maybe seeing a sea turtle. What they didn’t expect to see was a boat washed ashore.

“It was made of heavy Styrofoam. It looked like a car engine inside,” Penny Tindall said. “Maybe six homemade oars, maybe four. If there’s that many oars, then how many people were using them to get away from where they were?”

She said Caswell Beach Police and the Coast Guard hauled away the makeshift boat the same day the discovery was made.

Bags inside the boat labeled “Made in Cuba” lead the girls to believe the boat belonged to someone traveling from Cuba.

“What if they jumped off the boat and drowned? Did something really bad happen to them?” Addison Tindall questioned. “I hope they made it somewhere they needed to be, and they’re not injured or anything like that.”

Investigators are looking into these same questions.

Immigration policy said Cuban refugees can stay in the U.S. if they made it to shore. If they’re caught at sea, however, they’re sent back to Cuba.

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