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Contractor missing after fall from Outer Banks bridge

Posted April 27, 2010

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— The U.S. Coast Guard and Dare County authorities were searching Tuesday morning for a worker who fell off the Manns Harbor Bridge into Croatan Sound, officials said.

Sydney Valesco was doing maintenance work on the bridge for VHP Enterprises Inc., of Tarpon Springs, Fla., which was hired by the state Department of Transportation for the project. The bridge carries U.S. Highway 64 Business across the sound to Manteo and Roanoke Island.

Valesco fell about 15 to 20 feet from the middle of the bridge into the water at about 8 a.m. He wasn't wearing any safety gear, so another worker jumped in to assist him but was unable to do so, officials said.

Emergency personnel pulled the second worker from the water, and he suffered no injuries, officials said.

A rescue boat from the Coast Guard's Oregon Inlet station and a rescue helicopter from Elizabeth City joined three Dare County boat crews in the search. A dive team from the Dare County Fire Department also responded to the search.

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  • eden4576 Apr 27, 2010

    oops..map says not the newest bridge (Virginia Dare) but the old 2 lane bridge (Manns Harbor)

  • eden4576 Apr 27, 2010

    "So sorry! That is some wicked water the currents are very strong pebbles262004

    You must be thinking about the Oregon Inlet Bridge.
    ratherbnnc"

    I agree...this is the newest bridge built that connects Manns Harbor with Manteo. The bridge the previous poster is talking about is the Bonner Bridge on Hwy. 12.

  • ratherbnnc Apr 27, 2010

    So sorry! That is some wicked water the currents are very strong
    pebbles262004

    You must be thinking about the Oregon Inlet Bridge.

  • pbjbeach Apr 27, 2010

    From the center span of this bridge to the water is moore height than was stated in this article for i have personally been under it the last time that it was sand blasted to a white metal finish an then repainted with a zinc coating for primer an the was sparyed with the current green viyle paint in a green color that it currently is painted with. It is more like 45' at the very center span in height been there done that thank you

  • Twittyfan Apr 27, 2010

    Praying for the family

  • todmax Apr 27, 2010

    It is sad to hear cases like this that could be so easily avoided by just donning the proper safety gear. Anyone working over water should have a safety harness and an inflatable life vest. I hope they find this young man and I hope OSHA slaps a heavy fine on this company so they don't encourage/allow employees to work so unsafely.

  • pebbles262004 Apr 27, 2010

    So sorry! That is some wicked water the currents are very strong

  • rescuefan Apr 27, 2010

    How sad.

  • Rockermom Apr 27, 2010

    Prayers for his safe return.