Follow-up on weekend drowning

A fisherman from Supply died and several others were dumped into the ocean when their boats capsized in a sudden thunderstorm this past weekend. All of the men had been participating in a fishing tournament off Ocean Isle Beach. Scott Hewett is described as having had passion for fishing. One of his friends and fellow fishermen told WWAY Hewett always thought of his crew before himself. Chris Burrows knew Hewett for about two years and went with him on more than 50 fishing trips. He was also out on the water this weekend, and says the sudden storm was like nothing he's ever seen. The Coast Guard said Hewett and the two men on his boat with him were trying to outrun the storm when the accident happened. Burrows said his friend did what he could to save the crew, before he thought about saving himself. "I think it'll be a while before we're all ok with what happened this weekend, and I think just missing Scott will be first and foremost for everybody right now, and our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife and daughter," said Burrows. Hewett's boat is at the Oak Island Coast Guard Station in fine condition. If you ever have any doubt about the weather when you're out on the water, you can call the Coast Guard to have them radio you every 15 minutes or so. Then, if you don't respond, they will go searching for you near your last known location.

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I also knew Scott for almost 40 years and to be around him was a pleasure. He was the type of friend that when you saw him coming he would put a smile on your face. I fished with Scott in both rivers, waterway and the ocean - whether in his boats or mine. Safety was our #1 priority. We spent many hrs. maintaining our boats and trailers. "Spring Run" was kept in top-notch shape. Scott knew the condition of every inch of that boat. He always listened to the marine weather channel the night before, morning of and during the day of any fishing trip. Many times our offshore trips were cancelled by bad weather before we left. He was always watching the sky while we fished. I have been on the waterway with him and he'd say "we need to pull up everything - a storm is coming". We might be only a mile from home. Most fishermen that I know and have seen on the water do not wear PFD's at all times. Most Type I PFD's are cumbersome, rough on your neck and hot. Ski vests are also hot. The newer, more expensive inflatable vests are showing up more often but are they worn more? possibly. It has always been the fisherman's option to wear a PFD. Some of these articles have been written in hindsight. Capt. Brant McMullan talks in his article on June 26 about this exceptional fast moving storm and how most other capt's had never seen anything like it. I talked to him Tuesday after Scott's funeral when he and Capt. Roger were kind enough to take the family out to Lighthouse Rock for a memorial. As we talked he wondered if maybe a waterspout formed around them. It is a miracle that many other boats were not capsized and thank God that Charles and John survived this tragedy. Scott Hewett loved and respected the ocean. To be with Scott Hewett aboard the Spring Run heading out of Shallotte Inlet or Lockwood Folly Inlet for another fishing adventure was a true pleasure. I never worried as I was in very capable hands with a Capt. that had grown up on those waters. I can still see him smiling and often saying how much he loved it. The only thing he loved more was his family and friends. We all have truly lost a great friend and family man.
God Bless Scott's family. I to have a passion for the sea & fishing. I chose not to fish this tournament due to the weather report on Friday! Yes I have been caught in a few storms but it was my fault for staying out and chancing how fast those clouds would get to me. We as boaters and fishermen need to use our heads & safety gear and come in at the first sight of bad weather. You might not catch a fish but you will live to see another calm day to fish.
this is very sad. I hate to hear about any tragedy like this. but i have to say that too many people do not respect the sea. i see boats going out that inlet all the time that have no earthly business in the inlet. and to top it off, not a soul on board is wearing a PFD. until people get serious in respecting the dangers of the sea, we'll hear more and more stories like this. god bless all of them and his family in their time of loss.
Since I knew Scott for 40 years, I would like to address the assertion that Scott did NOT respect the sea or had no business on the ocean. In many of our conversations I would ask Scott whether he had fished the previous weekend. Most of time when he chose not to go out on the boat, it was because he said that the water was too rough, it was too windy, or the weather was bad. Scott was never concerned about the weather being too cold or too hot, it was only only the safety relating to "possible" bad weather that would keep him on shore. He began his day on the weather channell or, in the old days, a weather radio, listening to weather conditions offshore. His paramount concern, always, was that his boat was safe, all safety equipment was in A-1 condition and ready, and he took the lives of his crew and family in his very capable hands each time he took the boat out. Scott loved the sea, respected the sea, and feared its power. Whether taking his grandchild out for a mild cruise or going out far offshore to fish, safety, safety, safety, began and ended each trip. He spent untold hours on land maintaining boat and safety equipment for each hour spent on the water. I never felt safer than when I was with Scott on the water.
What a shame my thoughts and prayers go out to the friends and family