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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Police say a man who was spotted swimming in the Cape Fear River near Downtown Wilmington’s Riverwalk early Sunday was cited after he went under several times before finally getting out safely.

Wilmington Police say witnesses noticed the man swimming in the river near 225 South Water St. around 1:30 a.m. Sunday after he reportedly jumped in from the southernmost part of the Riverwalk. Officers say while he was wading in the water there, he went under several times before they say witnesses lost sight of him near Castle Street.

WPD and Sable helped in the search to find the man as he drifted, finally finding him in the water under an overpass near Queen Street. Once officers got the man out of the river safely, they say they cited him for swimming in the river. EMS was called to the scene, but police say the man ended up leaving in a cab.

Comment on this Story

  • Guest6969696969

    Will they make the Beach Illegal to swim at next?
    WHY? Is it *Illegal* to swim in the CFR?
    When, was this implentented?
    Let a Person take thier own responsability for THIER own actions.. If Someone incurs “cost” of the EMS & related services, Charge the person for the cost of “rescue”.. If there is indeed one warrented…
    As another poster suggested, Let Natural selection run its course…

  • Steve

    Leave it to the WPD to cite a person for swimming in the river. If this is against the law then EVERYONE that is in the water should get a ticket. This has got to be the stupidest citation I have ever heard of. The swimmer should fight this in court.

  • Rick Wilson

    Is it illegal to swim in the Cape Fear River?

  • Wilmington Observer

    Why can’t our government allow the law of natural selection run its course?

    Wilmington Observer

  • ILMnative

    It’s illegal to swim in the river?

  • Timekeeper

    Can’t anybody do anything, taking personal responsibility for the outcome, not putting anyone else in danger, without getting cited for it? No wonder respect and opinions for and of the police is so low.

  • Guest7969

    call me crazy, but when did that become against the law…to swim in the river?

  • Steve Lee

    Closest thing I can find in the City Ordinance is the following, which seems like a real stretch to me…

    Sec. 7-22. Bathing.

    It shall be unlawful for any person or dog to bathe, swim or wade in any lake, pond, fountain or other water feature in any park.

    (Ord. of 11-7-00, § 5)

  • Concerned

    You must have forgotten about the moron that jumped in the river a few years back. Apparently he was celebrating his birthday. His LAST birthday. It took a couple of days before his body was recoverd, putting rescue divers and other personnel at risk trying to locate him. Coast guard boats and helicopters as well joined in. By the time they pulled his body from the black murkey river, crabs had already eaten his eyeballs out. Who paid for the recovery? Us tax paying , normal citizens that are aware of how dangerous ans stupid it is to jump into the river, especially at night, that’s who. Next time let him go. The crabs have to eat too!

  • Joe

    It’s illegal to swim in the river in the city limits because too many people have died doing it. The section running the length of Wilmington is a treacherous piece of water with terrible currents, all kinds of underwater logjams and debris and it is completely unpredictable.


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