On Jan. 16, the Town of Oriental woke to the smell of diesel and the site of a sunken boat.
The 35-year-old shrimp trawler sank to the bottom of the harbor. But after a week of work, the fuel was sopped up and the boat, named Lady Barbara, was pulled out of the water and patched up.
Spectators said it was amazing the boat was back above water after being so far under the waves.
"Oh it was on the bottom, and it was careened over on its port side," said Oriental native Rolf Anselm.
The owner of the boat hired a private scuba diver and borrowed a pump to get the vessel out of the water. The Lady Barbara would make its way down to Jarrett Bay for repairs, while being towed by an equally big shrimp trawler named Miss Melissa.
The sinking wasn't caused by a storm or a fire. The culprit looked to be a faulty pump.
"All ships leak, that's the way of the sea, and all of them have pumps," said Rolf Anselm.