1 dead, 1 hurt after boat collision


PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — A boat accident yesterday left one person dead and another injured.

It happened on the Northeast Cape Fear River near the Swann Plantation neighborhood.

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“Me and the wife were out on the front porch, and we heard something that sounded just like a car wreck, it was that loud,” Jim Whitehurst said. “You know, when you’re hearing boat motors running, and all of a sudden you hear a big bang, and it’s quiet, you know that’s what happened.”

Whitehurst and his wife rushed over in their boat to see if they could help after the two boats collided on the river.

By the time they got there, they say it was too late.

“It looked like they were doing everything they could possibly do,” Whitehurst said. “I mean there were seven or eight people over top of her, so they were trying CPR and whatever else they could do to keep her alive, but I think it didn’t last long.”

Witnesses say that one woman, a mother of two, died in the accident, and one man, who they think is her husband, was severely injured.

They tell us the boats that crashed were 14 to 16 foot john boats, and say that they were speeding.

“They were flying when they hit each other,” Whitehurst added. “Because it ripped the other boat all to pieces.”

Those who live along the river say speeding around this corner has been a problem for years.

They say they tried to make this a no-wake zone for this very reason, but have had no success.

“We actually had petitioned to have the county put a no-wake zone here you know, and the fact was, stating that someone’s going to get killed if they don’t patrol this area, slow the boats down a little bit. And this is a dangerous curve.”

They are hoping that now something will be done about it.

“I will probably be asking the board to reconsider this as far as making a request to the state,” George Brown, Pender County Board of Commissioners said.

We tried to contact investigators for more information, but have yet to hear back.

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