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.
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