OBX Today’s top stories of 2021: Boat groundings, active hurricane season, ups and downs for wild horses

F/V Ocean Pursuit sits fully beached north of Oregon Inlet on April 12, 2020. [photo courtesy National Park Service]

Big fish, a big fire, a big storm, tragic accidents and new records were among the top stories of 2021 on the Outer Banks. As the year comes to an end, we’re looking back at the top news items and features we’ve run at OBXToday.com.

Today, we kick off our look back at some of this year’s most read stories:

Three boats freed after groundings, another one heads to the scarp yard

The F/V Bald Eagle II sits on the edge of the surf on Dec. 13, 2021. [Jennifer Thompson photo]

A pair of fishing vessels and a small sailboat all grounded on the Outer Banks in the span of a week in December. The F/V Johnathan Ryan, F/V Bald Eagle II and the sailing vessel Alhambra were all recovered and towed back to sea.

But the same could not be said for the F/V Ocean Pursuit, which had remained grounded since March 2020 on Bodie Island Spit north of Oregon Inlet. The National Park Service had a local contractor demolish the vessel and haul it off for scrap this fall.

Busy tropical season in 2021, but mostly avoids Outer Banks


GeoColor image of Hurricane Ida, Tropical Storm Julian, and Tropical Depression Ten (which intensified into Tropical Storm Kate on August 30) from NOAA’s GOES-16 satellite on August 29, 2021. [NOAA]

The 2021 Atlantic hurricane season officially concluded on Nov. 30 having produced 21 named storms, including seven hurricanes of which four were major hurricanes. But the Outer Banks was avoided this season, with only Tropical Storm Elsa making a pass over our area directly, and a several storms passing just offshore that stirred up the surf.

Tragedy and triumph for Corolla Wild Horses

Hurricane. [photo courtesy Corolla Wild Horse Fund]

2021 will be remembered for tragic losses and happy additions to the herd of wild mustangs that roam the Outer Banks north of Corolla.