Death of a Boogie Boarder off North Carolina Illustrates Beach Dangers

Every summer tragedy strikes on the waterways off Hampton Roads in Virginia and Northeastern North Carolina. We were saddened to read about the death of a boogie boarder off the North Carolina coast this week.

A report in the Virginian-Pilot stated the body of the 17-year-old boogie boarder was found off Frisco Beach near Hatteras Wednesday morning following an overnight search by rescue officials.

The U.S. Coast Guard reported the teenage boy missing about 1:40 p.m. on Tuesday. A beachgoer witnessed him fall off his boogie board and fail to resurface.

His body was found early Wednesday in the same area, according to Petty Officer 3rd Class Joshua Canup, a U.S. Coast Guard spokesman. The boy’s body was taken to Twiford Funeral Home in Manteo where it was confirmed to be the missing boogie boarder.

Death of a boogie boarder illustrates dangers

Boogie boarding can be dangerous

A news release from the National Park Service said the teenager was from Thailand. His boogie board was reported to be washed ashore near an off-road vehicle ramp in Frisco.

Canup said the Coast Guard could not ID the teenager.

Death of a Boogie Boarder off the North Carolina Coast Highlights Boating Dangers

Although there are far fewer boating accidents causing injuries and fatalities than driving accidents, the waterways around Hampton Roads are inherently dangerous and the water remains cold even in June.

Every year, there are about 4,000 boating accidents in the U.S. involving all kinds of different aquatic craft from canoes to jet skis and motorboats.

Often people who get in trouble on the sea or rivers fail to treat them with the respect they deserve.

Jet skis or personal watercraft are among the most dangerous craft on the rivers and waterways of Virginia.

In 2015, a Hertford woman was killed when the personal watercraft she was riding collided with a boat on Yeopim Creek in North Carolina, we noted on our personal injury blog.

Brenda Hoepfner, 67, was killed when she rounded a curve in the creek and struck an 18-foot motorboat, according to Lt. Mark Rich, of the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission. The accident highlighted how the fast speeds seen on jet skis leave riders with little time to evade obstacles in a river.

With the summer season underway more people are heading to the beach and getting out on the water. Please exercise care and read our resources on maritime accidents here.

If you have been hurt out on the waterways another boater may be to blame. Please call Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers at (757) 455-0077.

Bill O'Mara

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