FIRST ON 3: Man jumped off Southport pier to prove he could swim; Search called off


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Submitted: Tue, 07/12/2011 - 5:02pm
Updated: Wed, 07/13/2011 - 1:12pm
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SOUTHPORT, NC (WWAY) — The search for a Supply man continued Tuesday after police say he jumped off the Southport pier.

“We came down here to fish and he said he was gonna go swimming and he went to the pier over there on the side of the pier,” said the missing man’s sister, Mablene Hill.

Mablene says her brother Eddie was showing his family how he could swim when he jumped off the end of the pier. She says at first, he was fine… but then the rushing current dragged him under the water.

“He said ‘Help!’,” said Mablene. “I said ‘oh lord, my brother’s drowning out there.’ He came out of the water and said ‘Sister, please save me!’ I said ‘Brother, I can’t save you.'”

That was the last time Mablene saw her brother. Investigators say multiple rescue crews from around the region searched the area by water and air. Because of the conditions, the search has been unsuccessful.

“We have a strong current in the area,” Southport Fire Captain Todd Coring said. “Also, the water where he went down is about 12 feet and then shortly there after is drops off to about 40 to 50 feet. We got a lot of debris in this area. There used to be a lot of piers in this area, so we’re dealing with a large debris field that’s causing hazards for the divers as they’re doing their job.”

Eddie’s brother Bobby says he hopes crews can bring Eddie home so the family can say goodbye.

“All the family is hoping for is that we can find him,” Bobby said. “That’s the last time we can see him.”

For now, Emergency Management has called off the active search for Hill. Police say there are “No Swimming” signs posted along the pier because of the strong current.

14 Comments

  • Guest6969696969 says:

    Let this be a lesson to the rest of the “Tourist’s” that visit here every summer.
    The Story in the Fish-Wrapper” States, “the Victim grabbed the edge of a boat before “going under” “..
    Shark Fishing/Big Drum, at the South Port pier @ night used to be a, “old time past time” thing years ago.
    No doubt in My opinion, they’ll find this Man’s body right where He went under.. Connected to some heavy duty MONO/or a huge tangle of fishing line.. wrapped around his (feet).
    Such a tragdy, This is a reason people don’t “spear-fish” SheepHead around pier-Pilings, because of the chance of entanglement.
    Sorry for the Victim’s Family loss, but; you can’t fix Stupid.

  • Concerned Citizen says:

    You know some people just have no cooth. This mans whole family watched him drown. You people that write stupid comments should have the oppertunity to die in front of your familys.. He was’nt a tourist he was a local that wanted to jump off a pier in 23 ft of water and swim to shore, not die in front of his whole family…
    My prayers and best wishes go out to the Hill family. And lets hope they don’t get a chance to read your retarded comments.

  • guest one says:

    the morjority of people do dumb things every singsle day. SPEEDING AND DRUNK DRIVING AND DRUGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! NOW STUPID

  • DR says:

    I feel for his parents and loved ones… but this takes a special kind of stupid.

  • susie gore says:

    I want the hills family to know. Am so sorry for their lost and will also keep them in prayers.

  • Guestfire says:

    My prayers to the family of this gentlman who jumped off the City Pier. It is really sad to see this gentleman pass under such tragic circumstances.
    However, anyone who has grown up in the Southport area knows that the current in this one location is a deadly current and not to be tested.

  • guesty says:

    From Concerned Citizen: “ANY PUBLIC PIER SHOULD HAVE SAFTEY DEVICES.”

    Yes, look to blame something or somebody other than the one that jumped off. The pier does have a safety device, it is called common sense.

  • Commonsensenotcommontoday says:

    I thought only mulleted rednecks drunk on cheap beer died after saying, “Hey! Watch this!”

    Gotta go now, before the “Compassionites” show up to stone me…..

  • guesty says:

    Yes, you better hide before the “what if he was part of your family” or “don’t judge” crowd shows up. They get pretty testy.

  • Guest6969696969 says:

    Public Safty Device’s, ARE YOU SERIOUS?!

    Hows about COMMON SENSE

    Saftey Railings ATTACHED to said pier
    SIGN(s), that say “NO SWIMMING or JUMPING” off pier.

    ALL the Coastal piers have these “Safty Devices”.

    Too Bad they cannot Supply “COMMON SENSE”.

    i’ve been a Pier Fisherman/Commerical Fisherman for YEARS.
    People tend to loose RESPECT of the water & Ocean & Sounds, around these parts, for the life of me I cannot figure out WHY..
    Local’s AND Tourist’s alike.

  • Guest227 says:

    Prayers for this man’s family. Thank God for the people on the boat that attemped to save him and the crew that searched for him after the accident.

  • kind heart says:

    for the ones who did not know him personally,he was a very nice person. person who lived to make other smile or laugh. always wanting to help someone or make you happy when your were feeling down. Ive known bobo since i was a little girl. I am in my 40 ties now. he was humourous , i guess that why they nick name is bobo. he was always trying to put on a show. I will miss him truly. God didnt send to many to earth like him. he was grouchy grumpy selfish,cold hearted human being. and for the ones that called him stupid. everytime you watch some sports , they take a chance in something that could very well cause their life. Not all but some of them. Please know Bo bo wasnt being stupid. he was just being Eddie.

  • THE BUTLER FAMILY says:

    GOD SAW THIS MAN AND ASK HIM WHAT TIME IT WAS.THE MAN REPLYED AND SAID FATHER IS IT TIME FOR ME TO COME HOME ANDGOD ANSWER THE MAN AND SAID YES.SO HE WAITED UNTIL THIS VERY SPECIAL EVENING WHEN HE WENT AND TOLD HIS FAMILY GOODBYE FOR THE LAST TIME.BOBO AS WE ALL KNOW OF HIM WAS A PERSON WHOM MADE YOU LAUGH WHEN YOU FELT BAD.BUT JUST BECAUSE WE CAN`T SEE HIM HES STILL AROUND WITH THAT LITTLE CRAZY SMILE OF HIS MAY GOD KEEP A SMILE WITH THE FAMILY AND KEEP YOUR HEADS UP .GOD IS SMILING ON YALL

  • Guest1001 says:

    I’d say he lost that bet

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