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| Shapiro, Appleton & Washburn

Law enforcement officials in North Carolina are warning citizens in the state to be careful on the water after several boating and water-related accidents across the state on Memorial Day weekend left one dead and several injured. 


One of the incidents involved a man who drowned during a boating accident on Holt Lake in North Carolina, according to the sheriff’s office in Johnston County. That accident happened at 4:15 pm at a dam spillway on Black Creek that creates Holt Lake. Four friends in two boats were fishing when one of the boats was stuck on the concrete spillway and the other boat came to assist.

During efforts to free the boat from the spillway, one of the men was caught in the current and drowned.

On Saturday on Memorial Day weekend, two kayakers were rescued from the Neuse River near Wake Forest, North Carolina. The man and woman were stuck on an island near the dam and were surrounded by rushing water. They had minor injuries and it took an hour to free them.

And later on Saturday, a person was rescued from the Cape Fear River near the boat ramp at Cape Fear River Park. At least a dozen people were on rafts and floats in the river, and one had to be rescued after he was caught in rushing water and tree branches. He suffered minor injuries.

Our View

Every year, National Boat Safety Week is the week before Memorial Day, and our personal injury attorneys in North Carolina always like to remind people who are boating that week and all summer to take caution to avoid accidents.

One of the most important safety items to remember to avoid boating accidents, injuries and death is to wear a life jacket at all times. Adults will not be ticketed if they do not wear a life jacket, but children who are 13 and under have to wear one.

Recreational boaters in North Carolina also should be aware that the state is #10 in the country for boating fatalities. In 2015, there were 133 boating accidents in the state and 24 deaths. Ten of them involved drinking alcohol. Also, not wearing a life vest was a factor in some of those deaths.

Anyone who is in a boating accident that may have been caused by the fault of another party should speak to an experienced North Carolina and Virginia personal injury attorney. Boating accidents are complex, especially in an accident involving alcohol, personal injury or death.


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