Wildlife officers say boat on autopilot when it ran ashore in Atlantic Beach

ATLANTIC BEACH, N.C. (WITN) – State Wildlife officers say a boat that ran aground this past weekend in Atlantic Beach was on autopilot.

The North Carolina Wildlife Commission says Joseph Riverbark was charged with operating a vessel in a reckless or negligent manner and operating a vessel while failing to comply with navigational rules.

An adult and a child received minor injuries after the boat crashed into the beach around 6:00 p.m. Saturday just east of the Doubletree Hotel pier.

Wildlife officers say the Morehead City man “was not paying attention and possibly asleep at the helm.”

Officers say there were no mechanical malfunctions found and no signs that alcohol was a factor.

The people injured were taken to the hospital for treatment and later released.