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How deep is the Brunswick River?

Ana Ribeiro

The Brunswick River is just 1 foot to 5 feet deep, depending on where you are, said Lt. Todd Radabaugh with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.

The Brunswick River is fairly short, Radabaugh said, adding it takes him 10 minutes to navigate its length on a small motor boat. A branch of the Cape Fear River, the Brunswick River starts upstream from the Battleship North Carolina and ends downtstream from the Wilmington port, passing through the Leland/Belville area.

Radabaugh said the river’s depth is very variable. The river is not marked and its channels don’t run a straight line, so first-hand experience is the best way to learn where it’s deeper or shallower, he said.

People can purchase a nautical chart from a marine supply store, but even that is not 100 percent accurate because the current is always changing and moving sand and debris, he said.

Radabaugh said the river is so shallow a boat ramp at Belville Town Park on N.C. 133 could not be used until the river was dredged.

“I wouldn’t go water skiing there,” he said.

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2 Responses to “ How deep is the Brunswick River?”

  1. On June 23, 2009 at 7:26 am Jack Fryar wrote:

    Interestingly, while the Brunswick River is too shallow now to accommodate vessels drawing a very deep draft, in colonial times the river was the main thoroughfare for accessing the port at Wilmington. Shallow water on the Cape Fear River below Eagles Island forced mariners to take the long way around the island, using the Brunswick River to get to an anchorage at the Wilmington waterfront. This fact contributed to the name given by locals to the point where the Cape Fear River splits into the Cape Fear and Northeast Cape Fear Rivers at Point Peter. In times past, when river traffic was heavy past the point, it was also known as the “thoroughfare.” The navigability of the Brunswick River for a potential enemy force trying to get to Wilmington also prompted Confederate defenders to sow the mouth of the Brunswick south of Eagles Island with torpedoes and other river obstructions, to stop Yankee forces from using it to assault the city.

  2. On July 31, 2009 at 7:02 pm klbbigshow wrote:

    the brunswick river is is deeper than 5 feet .as a matter if fact it gets to 52 ft at the bridge where the old uss bellville sank , you can still see her on low tide ,i dont know who educates our officers on local waters, but any local would know better,how do you sink a liberty ship such as the one in bellville in 1 to 5 feet of water

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