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SOUTHPORT, NC (WWAY) — A dinner party turned deadly on the water in Southport.

According to the Wildlife Commission, Barbara Pierce, 57, was killed when a boat piloted by her husband, Edward, struck a concrete pillar on the old quarantine dock near Battery Island.

The two were traveling with friends, Michelle Boley and Taylor Gill, and were returning from dinner when their boat crashed.

All four were taken to New Hanover Regional Medical Center, where Barbara Pierce died from injuries sustained in the accident.

The Wildlife Commission says alcohol was found in the vessel but did not appear to be a factor in the crash.

None of the passengers were wearing a life vest.

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11 Comments on "Woman killed in Southport boating accident"

2015 years 10 months ago

That platform should be made visible at night. I’ve passed it many times but I don’t do the cape fear unless daytime and no wind,never at night .if that platform had lights this would not have happened. This particular structure should have been lit, because of it’s size and location,too many recreational boaters in that area as well as other comm vessels, ferry etc.

2015 years 10 months ago

If you had a clue about the Captain of this vessel whom sailed these waters at least every weekend for the last 5-6 years your comment would not be on this page. The Captain in question is worth his weight in Gold not salt. Please think before you post something about any tragic event since more then likely you will only have a small part of the information.

2015 years 10 months ago

Is over confidence.

I’m assuming this is the same Ed Pierce that sails a CS40. I don’t know him personally but we have waved at each other in passing. I won’t question his abilities but assuming the reporting is correct I would question his judgement. 25 knots at night through the lower swash range is too fast IMO. You have ferry traffic and private boat traffic coming and going from Deep Creek. The Fort Fisher ferry is just beyond that.There are numerous unmarked obstructions just outside the channel on both sides. If he had to suddenly give way to another boat at that speed he could quickly find himself outside the channel. Red bouy 20 is just north of the old platform,at night if you got out of the channel a 100 feet on the east side you could easily become disoriented by the shore lights and end up with the old platform between you and the lighted can.

My sincere condolences to him and his family for their tragic loss.

2015 years 10 months ago

I was on the water that night and there was no moon light until approx 10:30. Tragic but preventable.

2015 years 10 months ago

It’s so crazy to me how people who know nothing about these individuals or the situation could post such ignorant comments. Goes to show just how miserable some people are with their own lives. Accidents happen everyday. Don’t you know tragedy can happen to you or your family at any give time. I’ve known them for several years and they are two of the nicest people I’ve ever met. Regardless of what happened no one would purposely drive their boat into an unmarked structure in the water. I’m sure if he could go back and change the outcome he would take the place of his wife. They were so in love and it is really such a shock to everyone that knew her. Stop trying to point fingers and start praying for these people whose world will never be the same. A life was cut way too short and it makes you realize what is really important. The heartless comments and the pointing fingers at whose at fault aren’t necessary.

2015 years 10 months ago

I don’t know the ins and outs of all the boating stuff, but regardless, this family has suffered a loss and they need our prayers.

Guest 10101
2015 years 10 months ago

and I can’t see it in the photo, but that looks like a good place to install a solar powered warning beacon for use after dark.

2015 years 10 months ago

Such a tragic accident and so easily avoidable. Any captain worth his salt reviews his/her charts before every trip and knows to SLOW DOWN when navigating at night.

2015 years 10 months ago

they were not sailing, it was a powerboat

Captain Skip Wilson
2015 years 10 months ago

It is sad that this happens to a captain with years of experience boating in the area. I myself have come through that area many times at night with storms on my port. The lesson here is that no matter how good of a captain you are, charts and a spot light can not be replaced by GPS or simply by time on the water. She is named the Cape Fear for a reason with lots of debris in the water along with unmarked obstructions. Night time boating is a very dangerous time to travel on the water. I have come across floating trees and other small craft with no lights. I am so sorry for the family and friends of this vessel and do agree that this platform has been there for years and should be marked with reflectors at the very least.

Safe Sailing

2015 years 10 months ago

I have passed it hundreds of times. I have always wondered why the pillars and platform were not removed years ago. It serves no purpose that I can see. Maybe now some sort of marking device will be installed if it is allowed to remain.


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