Wilmington man honors wife one year after death in boating accident

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — This weekend marks one year since a Wilmington man lost his wife in a boating accident on the Cape Fear River.

Ed and Barbara Pierce and two friends were sailing after dark when they hit a concrete platform, killing Barbara. Now, Ed has made it his mission to get the platform marked or destroyed.

The Pierces loved being on the water. They even participated in sailboat races. But their time offshore took a dark turn on Aug. 4, 2012.

After having dinner in Southport, the couple and two friends sailed up the Cape Fear River. It was after dark. As Ed drove the boat, he veered right to avoid a barge. Little did he know, a concrete platform was ahead.

“Because it was high tide, the platform only sat a few feet above the water… and it’s completely unmarked,” Ed said.

Their boat slammed into the platform killing his wife.

“I saw my wife in a pool of blood,” Ed said.

Now, nearing a year since the crash, Ed holds onto to the 36 years of marriage the two shared. He wears their wedding bands on a chain around his neck; hers inside of his.

“There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think about my wife,” Ed said.

The other thing not leaving his mind is the concrete platform, an old quarantine dock built in the late 1800s near Battery Island. He’s sure that if it had some sort of marking, the accident that took away the love of his life would not have happened.

Ed is bringing attention to his concern by teaming up with Julia’s Florist this weekend. Through donations, he plans to blanket the platform with flowers.

“There will be probably a thousand people that will go up and down that river over the weekend and wonder why those flowers are there, and they’ll see how close it is to the channel,” he said.

Instead of traveling back to the crash scene this weekend, Ed will travel to Washington, DC, to visit Barbara’s grave site.

Categories: Brunswick

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