On last Saturday, 29 August, at approximately 2:45 PM, a lone brown pelican attempted to commandeer SS-343 Clamagore for purposes unknown. Brown pelicans are large birds with wingspans over 6 feet (up to nearly 9 feet). They are the only dark pelicans and use dive bombing attacks to catch their prey. They have a very long beak with a hook on the tip. Read more about them here…
As the pelican landed on the aft gangway to the submarine, all exiting tourists were prevented from leaving. It is not known if the pelican intended to force them to become crew members. The pelican wisely picked the aft gangway as all visitors must exit the submarine tour route here. This pelican easily intimidated the visitors with its large wing span, flapping wings and large beak with hook snapping at any who got too close. Fortunately, an alert Patriots Point employee, Lu Ann, observed the pelican’s actions and called public safety. It was decided to toss a blanket on this pelican’s party and end his commandeering attempt.
As you can see below, the tactic was very successful and the bandit pelican was taken into custody (notice the badge on the public safety officer and the uniform pants with blue stripe from the Mount Pleasant policeman).
Hope you enjoyed the fun above, in reality, we had a sick and/or injured brown pelican, who unfortunately landed where all our Clamagore visitors exit the submarine. The pelican was not hurt in his capture. The pelican calmed down immediately, once he/she could not observe people. The Mount Pleasant police took the pelican to a veterinarian for treatment, and we hope the pelican makes a complete recovery soon. Patriots Point officials have granted the pelican a lifetime membership to fish near our ships and airspace clearance to glide and soar above the flight deck on his/her return to nature.