21 people hurt when deck collapses at rental home in Ocean Isle Beach

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Submitted: Wed, 07/10/2013 - 3:56am
Updated: Wed, 07/10/2013 - 4:53pm

OCEAN ISLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Twenty-one people were hurt when a deck collapsed at a home on the west side of Ocean Isle Beach Tuesday night.

Brunswick County Emergency Services Director Anthony Marzano said 21 people had to go to the hospital, of those 13 went to Grand Strand Regional Medical Center in Myrtle Beach, seven to Brunswick Novant Medical Center and one to New Hanover Regional Medical Center.

Some of the injuries include lacerations and a spinal injury but they are not life-threatening. Marzano said about 25 people were on the deck when it fell from the second story of the home onto a concrete slab underneath.

Ocean Isle Beach Town Manager Daisy Ivey said the people are renting the house, and the homeowner has been notified. She adds that several departments responded to the collapse, including Sunset Beach and Ocean Isle Beach Police.

The StarNews reports it happened at 83 Ocean Isle Blvd. W.

(Photo courtesy Facebook/Janet Stedem Presson)


  • Todd Jr the 3rd says:

    seriously?? weigh people? have you been on a vacation to a beach house? Especially when they are younger people. one of the worse comments I have read.

  • taxpayer says:

    you’ll no doubt be hearing…”Get serious…Get Flexner”…and from a cadre’ of other personal injury attorneys. Hope the homeowner was well insured.

  • Christan says:

    For anyone who had a negative comment you need to know the facts before saying they were having a party or doing something they shouldn’t have. She is a friend and co worker of mine and for your info they were taking a family picture! Stop with the negative comments!

  • guesty says:

    This would be the perfect case for John Edwards to slime his way back into a courthouse.

  • Hank Kingsley says:

    I bet within 2 weeks, there will be 350 people that claim they were on that there deck.

  • Guestbuilder says:

    First thing I noticed was it didn’t appear there were any joist hangers on the edge boards.

  • loco builder says:

    Typically decks on the beach are built with a ledger below the joist instead because of the high corrosive properties and joist hangers do not last very long.

  • Kim Katwijk says:

    According to my research, there have been 23 deaths and hundreds of serious injuries do to deck failures since 2000. A properly designed and built deck cannot be overloaded even if you stacked people onto it shoulder to shoulder. There are two main reasons for deck failures. 1) The ledger (the board that runs parallel to the side of the house and supports the edge of the deck, securing it to the house) is just nailed onto the house. Half the weight of the deck is on the ledger board and nails have a tendency to slide out over time. A ledger board needs to be attached to the house with fastners that are compatible with pressure treated lumber such as galvanized bolts, lags, or ACQ compatible Star Drive Lag Screws™. 2) ROT! Decks that have not been built correctly or have not been maintained are more susceptible to damage and weakening due to rot.
    Look for rot’s discoloration in the lumber or anything growing out of the wood. Test for rot by stabbing the wood with a sturdy knife point. If your knife goes in more than one quarter of an inch or you find spongy spots, that means the wood is decaying. If only a few boards are damaged, replace them. You cannot get away with leaving the rotten boards and putting a new board beside it. This will only accelerate the rot by providing fresh food for it. The rot will quickly invade the new board. If you find soft spots in the support posts or beams, you will need to rebuild the deck. (This requires a building permit.) To minimize future problems, hire a professional that specializes in decks.
    Assess whether the structure is solid. When you walk on the deck, you should not feel it move. It should not tilt. The railing should be firm and not moveable. The fasteners should not be loose or corroded. If you own a wood deck, you should clean and seal the boards every year. Check your deck yearly and before large gatherings for rot and other problems.
    Because decks are exposed to the weather, they don’t last forever, and they always come down with friends and family. So make sure your deck doesn’t come down unexpectedly.
    Kim Katwijk
    President of Deck Builders, Inc
    Olympia, WA
    Contributing Editor
    Professional Deck Builders Magazine

  • Peekaboo says:

    How big was the deck?
    25 is a lot of people for a standard size raised house deck.
    Maybe people should be weight before crowding on a deck.

  • Lee Brown says:

    North Carolina has experienced two deck collapses in two weeks. Your viewers need to know how to care and maintain their decks for both safety and durability. The way you build a deck is important…the way you maintain a deck is DOUBLE important. Both of these were older decks had not been inspected or maintained.

    Our local Winston-Salem company provides NADRA Deck Safety Inspections. More info about Deck Safety can be found at http://www.CarolinaWoodDecks.com The use of coatings, paint, abusive pressure washing, and even household bleach can help weaken a deck and cause a failure. A professional penetrating stain protects the integrity of the wood guarding against failure.

  • Vog46 says:

    I’ve been thinking about this and the victims claim they were taking a family photo. All 25 of them
    People crowd in together and the photographer steps back then tells them to get closer together (I assume with their backs to the ocean so the ocean serves as a back drop for the picture). This puts the photographer/camera at the doorway or slightly inside the doorway.
    2 rows of people? Possibly 3 all shoulder to shoulder?
    Is it possible that they compacted the weight to a specific area of the deck and caused an overload to a specific spot?

    Just curious…….

  • Guest-o-matic says:

    …deck loading is defined by the building codes and is based on a “X” pounds per sq. ft. for static and dynamic (live) loading conditions. Decks are usually well overbuilt and over-designed to exceed code requirements, sometimes even to accommodate hot tub loading. The expansive deck of this house is very large with a capacity of much more than 25 people. This is a very large vacation home with a very large deck and a substantial quantity of loading should be anticipated in the design and construction requirements.

    An investigation will likely find one or more of the following as a causal factor(s):
    Building code is inadequate to meet potential live loading.
    Design was inadequate to meet code live loading requirements.
    Construction methods didn’t follow the design intent.
    Construction methods didn’t follow the building code standard.
    Construction inspection didn’t identify lack of meeting the building code requirements.
    Construction methods utilized defective and/or undersized materials.

    You can bet there will be an investigation and analysis of this failure.

  • Mark G says:

    Thank you for finally adding some facts to counter the armchair engineers out there that are incorrectly blaming the victims. I was just about to state the case that you just did so well. This deck (at least 220 sq feet by viewing the picture) should have been designed and built to hold over 10,000 pounds and capable of carrying 2.5x that weight. The fact that it failed comes down to the way it was built and/or maintained. Time and time again, I see comments blaming overcrowding from those who have zero experience or facts to support this claim. Bless the victims and their familes. I hope they recover physically and mentally from this traumatic experience.

  • Love Duck says:


  • Vog46 says:

    IF memory serves me correctly (and sometimes it doesn’t) isn’t the size of the deck based upon the number of bedrooms (Indicating the number of people living there) then a safety factor is used to account for visitors PLUS and additional safety factor?

    One thing you failed to mention was construction materials failing to meet design specifications as a causal factor(s).
    Is there a reason you left that out?


  • Duke Geraghty says:

    Or it could have just been nail fatigue. Decks should be inspected often in a coastal environment. Building code design is more than adequate to hold 25 people.

  • Rob Kowalskio says:

    John Edwards has more credibility in his little finger than all republicans in the history of the USA combined. I would do John Edwards any day. Just for Partiotic duty and Uncle Sam etc and I am a Canadian. Sp There!

  • Guestoib says:

    Praying for you

  • joyce luckey says:

    This is my son and his entire family and wife’s family and relatives, thaanks to all of the EMT’s and anyone else that assisted them to the hospitals. So thankful that it wasn’t any worse.

  • dfdfdf says:

    Yea I think we realize it’s your son, his entire family, and wife’s family and relatives, they were the idiots who overcrowded the deck all at one time

  • SurfCityTom says:

    like vultures on a carcas. At least plenty to go around.

  • Vog46 says:

    I betcha that each injured person got at least 30 solicitations in the mail so far.

    What in the world were 25 people doing on a deck? Thats probably over 5,000 pounds. Get music involved and people swaying to the beat and the stresses put on that deck are enormous.

    I’m sure the homeowners insurer is just tickled that this happned….


  • Love Duck says:

    I have read many comments from you and opinions, that appear to be tempered with fact, and found most to be informative, but you are way off base with this one,

    Most beach houses are between, 25-30 feet wide, especially at OIB, and most have large porches/Decks somewhere between 8-12 feet deep and even larger, The loading for a porch this size should be based on The NCRBC, and the calculation should have been based on tributary loading at the point loads, corners, connectors and so on, The deck should have been designed to withstand 40lbs per square foot, (12X20=240X40=9,600 so 25 people on a deck this size and for it to be overloaded would have required each individual to weigh in excess of 384lbs, the deck should not have collapsed unless, its size was less than 7.5ft in depth and less than 20 in length, which is very uncommon on the beach.

    My suspicions are that the connectors corroded due to the harsh elements on the coast, and most would be unaware of such conditions, until failure occurred. My question is when was the home last inspected for compliance under the Towns Minimum Housing Requirements, IE a rental with 25 people in it.

    My Prayers are with the family, hope all recover.

  • jkgugygyu says:

    Hmmm, 20 people overcrowding an upperstory deck…yea that’s smart

  • Guest pw says:

    really! 25 people on a deck. That was not a good idea:(

  • Guestewew says:

    So if this was your entire family gone away on vacation somewhere and something tragic happened, you would want some idiot like yourself making ignorant comments about your loved ones. Regardless if they made a mistake or not. Like you have really never done something that probably wasn’t a good idea before. Have some couth…

  • Patricia Mintz says:

    I don’t know what caused the accident but I am just thankful everyone is alright. Ignorance goes a long way, and making comments about someone or someone’s family is the # one way. Accidents happen even in the best of situations. Why is it we always look for someone or something to blame. It is always someone else’s fault or stupid actions instead of a fluke of nature or just a plain down right accident.

  • CB says:

    First of all, people were injured, have a little compassion. Secondly, if you are not a structural engineer you should not be commenting about how many people were on the deck. We don’t know how big it was or what shape it was in.

  • Guest-o-matic says:

    The latest edition of the building codes (which is quite recent) may dictate deck size based on potential occupancy. All of that will become prevalent during the investigation. The codes are there, the architects/engineers have to follow them as a minimum in their design as well as the constructors (what is in effect at the time of construction). In-depth knowledge and application of these codes are essential in order to be licensed by the State Board as Architects/Engineers. The same goes for contractors doing the construction as an overcheck process and valid qualification of the work being performed. It is the ultimate responsibility of both agencies to remain up to date on all code changes and requirements. It is the ultimate responsibility of the inspectors to ensure that both the design intent and the construction methods are accurately applied and are in compliance to the exist revision of the code manual.

    Safety factors are applied after the static and live loading loading requirements are determined which are based on the building codes. Safety factors are not applied to safety factors.

    My last causal factor covers the material condition you mention. I did however, neglect to include the potential lack of maintenance or repairs of the structure by the owner.

  • CoastalJade says:

    You know, it’s no wonder all the older posters have left here or post any longer. I once could not stand Common and Das…that old bat was the most negative person on here. But damn I long to see Das posts now.
    I actually felt sorry for you when you was asked a few weeks back if you did anything but post 24/7 here and on every post.
    Jesus were they right.

  • Das Weibstück says:

    That warmed my stone heart Jade. I am still around just don’t care to comment.

  • Guestomfg says:

    I will bet they were in violation of their rental agreement. Sounds like a party, NO rental homes allow parties. Good luck suing under those circumstances.

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