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Cornelius News

Shamrockin’ still beachin; chopper pic hoaxin

March 18. By Dave Yochum. UPDATED. The 50-foot yacht called Shamrockin’ did not get off a shoal near Governor’s Island on St. Patrick’s Day.

Derek DeBord, owner of the Cornelius-based Tow Boat US, franchise, expects a new crane, capable of lifting 50 tons, will be assembled on a barge next to the stranded million-dollar vessel early this afternoon.

Click to enlarge

Hoax: Click to enlarge

A picture (right) of the Marquis brand Euro-style yacht being lifted off by a military helicopter, first posted on the Exit 28 Ridiculousness Facebook, is a hoax. They’ve been widely circulated as “news.” [There have been three searches of “helicopter” in the past 8 hours on www.corneliustoday.com]

The Shamrockin has become a nautical tourist attraction. For the safety of the men working with the massive crane, boaters should keep their distance and not raise a wake within 1,000 yards. The Shamrockin, according to the manufacturer’s specs, weighs about 50,000 lbs.

The owner of the boat, Ted Corriher, is a wealthy Newton business owner who was once profiled in Entrepreneur magazine for his early success selling tractors online. He also, according to political consultants, considered running for US Senate, but “never set up a campaign committee with the FEC.”

One person in the marine industry said this kind of salvage operation, with 24-7 staffing, multiple boats, at least one barge and two cranes, will run into the six figures. Neither DeBord nor Beaufort-based Tow Boat franchise owner Lee Sykes, who flew in yesterday to help lead the operation, would discuss the cost in any way, shape or form.

DeBord said there is no fuel leaking from the Shamrockin’ nor is there any debris around the shoal. Iredell County Sheriff’s Department did not have an incident report, nor did the NC Wildlife Resources Commission.

Cornelius Police and Iredell Sheriffs were on the scene earlier in the week.

Duke Energy said they were not aware of environmental concerns at the salvage site. “We know they are trying to move it,” a spokeswoman said. She was not aware of any Duke regulations around how long a stranded vessel may remain on an island. Over the past two years, Duke Energy, which controls the lake, has worked mightily to enforce rules and regulations around inflatables

UPDATE 10:30 am: From Duke spokeswoman Kim Crawford: “I learned that the 50-foot crane that was brought in could not get close enough to the shoal at Governor’s Island to remove the yacht.  Duke Energy views this as an active recovery operation of a legally-permitted vessel.  As long as there are efforts underway by the owner to remove the yacht, there is no specified timeframe.”

The grounding of the Shamrockin and the resulting salvage operation has gotten national attention, with “hits” from San Diego to Miami. On the website thehulltruth.com this discussion is under way:

Senior MemberCaptains Club MemberPLEDGER
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: West Carolina
Posts: 20,790
Default More Money Than Sense
 Million dollar boat on Lake Norman NC, GPS goes out so they just “wing it” and stick it so hard aground that they are going to have to get a crane barge to help unground it. How bout slowing down and take a peak at your chart? Whoops, bet there wasn’t even a chart on board. Keep in mind, there are no tides on the lake so what you see is where they put it.


Admirals Club
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 404
Just wow…

I spend a ton of time on Lake Norman and know this area very well. But it doesn’t take any local expertise to know that when you see two islands close together, there is usually some shallow water in between…

Check out the aerial below. The main channel is just to the east (where you see boats running) and the area around the south side of Governors Island often is usually VISIBLY shallow like you see in the pic. That’s where they ran aground 

I’ve seen this boat out cruising before. They’re usually running pretty fast and it’s almost certainly the most expensive boat on the lake.

I might have to head up there tomorrow and see this for myself.

Senior Member
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 5,976
There are plenty of marked and unmarked shoals in that area of the lake. There are also a ton of boats on the lake that have owners that think being able to put the key in the ignition and put the boat in gear makes you a suitable captain.
Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
Join Date: May 2004
Location: SE FL
Posts: 515
Send a message via Yahoo to NoWake200

How does a GPS on that boat “just go out”? Something tells me there is a lot more to this story.

And lets just say the GPS did “just go out”, why not have a back up on your Smart Phone or iPad? It’s amazing how great the Navionics app works. 

Since there are no tides, maybe the owner can pay (I’m assuming a power company) to close the dam to flood the lake. 


Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: East Hampton Ct
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Admirals Club
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 405
I thought the same thing. But knowing this area, all the captain needed were EYES. Full disclosure: I’m not operating a 50′ million dollar yacht out there, but the water is muddy because it’s so shallow…

Not to mention running that boat on a plane into that creek is a terrible idea anyway. That is a dead end creek and the SW area of the lake is known to be shallow terrain.

Lake is owned and operated by Duke Power. Water level today is 96.8/100. They target 96.0 so water level is normal or even a little high…

Senior Member
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: San Diego
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Originally Posted by Belrose View Post
… so water level is normal or even a little high…

So was everyone on the boat.

Senior MemberCaptains Club Member
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Long Island Sound, CT
Posts: 23,966

that’s a lot of money for a 50′ boat.

I would like to have that budget