Surfer death at Avon Pier

Surfer death at Avon Pier

Posted in the Hatteras Forum


Hoffman Forest, NC

#1 Oct 16, 2009
Our family witnessed the death of a surfer today at Avon Pier in North Carolina. EMT and Paramedics pulled the body out of the water at 12:40pm today. As we saw the body being dragged to the ambulance, we overheard from fisherman in the area that the deceased was a 15-year-old from Wilmington, NC. His board was caught in the pilings.

Any news on the name of the young man?

Wilmington, NC

#2 Oct 16, 2009
His name is Craig Marshall

Hoffman Forest, NC

#3 Oct 16, 2009
our prayers to his family. I see you are from Wilmington. The EMTs said he was with church group from Wilmington.

Hoffman Forest, NC

#4 Oct 16, 2009
Our family were there today, too. As a family who've been coming to Avon to surf for almost 20 years, it was so heartbreaking to witness this tragedy. We saw the group of boys as they surveyed the waves before going out and they were so stoked -- it reminded me of my younger days on surf trips with my brother. I hope that through the grief they will never forget that love and love of life. Our sincerest condolences to Craig's family and friends.
Chandler Hatch

Hampstead, NC

#5 Oct 17, 2009
Craig actually went to topsail high school he was one of my good friends, also my brother was on the trip with the boys. Craig was an amazing kid who always had a smile on his face and lived life to the fullest, shortly before this trip he gave his life to christ so we know he is in a safer place. Topsail high school has really been hit hard with the recent loss so if you could please keep not only Craig Marshalls family, the boys on the trip, but also this whole community and school everyone around here loved Craig and will miss him alot.
Chandler Hatch

Hampstead, NC

#6 Oct 17, 2009
i also am not sure why it says im from camp lejeune i am actually from topsail island

Goochland, VA

#7 Oct 17, 2009
I was at the Pier also and will never, ever forget Craig and his faithful and loving friends. I was so very shocked and saddened as we began to realize what had happened just below us. I prayed then for comfort for Craig's family and friends. I will continue to do so whenever I think of this young man. I am so gratified to hear that Craig lived life to the fullest AND that he had accepted Christ. I do know he is safe now, and from my mother's heart I will pray for his family. Please know that he was surrounded by love and concern and such strenuous and ardent attempts to reach him.

Hampstead, NC

#8 Oct 17, 2009
craig was in my civics class and he was a really good kid, he had alot of friends and he will be missed, i hope he is now happy up there. rip craig
sas topsail

Wilmington, NC

#9 Oct 18, 2009
A wonderful young man who's passing has already had an incredible impact on the communities involved. Expecting 500 to 600 teens at Scotts Hill Baptist Church tonight and even more tommorrow for his memorial at 11:00am. Craig is leading more and more teens each day to the Lord by the example he set while here with us. As a father of teens he has tremendously impacted me, thanks Craig!
rip cm

Raleigh, NC

#10 Oct 18, 2009
For those who were there Friday morning when this tragedy unfolded, can you shed any light onto what happened? Have know Craig and his family for years and though we know he is in a better place we just can't seem to understand how something like this happened. Craig keep shining from above...much love!
sas topsail

Wilmington, NC

#11 Oct 19, 2009
rip cm wrote:
For those who were there Friday morning when this tragedy unfolded, can you shed any light onto what happened? Have know Craig and his family for years and though we know he is in a better place we just can't seem to understand how something like this happened. Craig keep shining from above...much love!
Boys had just entered the water north of the pier, as I understand it the waves were breaking from the NE towards the pier. Huge wave crashed down on the boys, when they came up Craig was gone. The hope is that he was knocked out by the force of the wave pushing him into the shallow sand below. He was deceased when the emergency swimmer found him. If they had choosen to surf south of the pier they would of been pushed away from the pier not into it.(This info comes from a non-surfer, me, who has friends that were there).

Goochland, VA

#12 Oct 20, 2009
One of Craig's fellow surfers posted a touching note with a lot of detail on another board. I don't have the link but I'm sure you can find it. I would add that no one could have gotten to Craig in time to save him. Believe me, if I hadn't been there I'd be wondering WHY someone couldn't get out there and cut the leash; but I was there and while I didn't see the whole sequence, and didn't understand what was going on at first, I know that it happened quickly and before the rescue people had even unloaded their equipment. Why didn't someone jump off the pier and try to save him? I think that would have meant death to the rescuer, and again, I do not think it would have made a difference as far as saving the young man. He was trapped by that leash and board before anyone knew where he was. It is so awful. I didn't even know him and my heart is aching for his friends and family. I thought over and over about the 'what if's' and 'if only's', but I believe in my heart that the tragedy was inevitable once the leash got wrapped around the piling. My prayers are with his family and friends. I put my hand on the shoulder of one of his friends and asked if there was anything I could do to help. He shook his head sadly. I do want him to know that I meant it, and that I did do something, I prayed. God be with you all. Joy
Jack Kep

Hoffman Forest, NC

#13 Nov 21, 2009
djk wrote:
craig was in my civics class and he was a really good kid, he had alot of friends and he will be missed, i hope he is now happy up there.
rip craig
Its realliy sad that the park service made the piers take down the sign on each side that said "Danger no swimming or fishing within 300 feet. Maybe this would have helped.
Shanno basler cobden il

Marion, IL

#14 Dec 12, 2009
my family and i were at the pier that day. I did not know the boy or his family but our heart went out to them. i still pray for comfort and peace for the family and friends of this young man.
Madison Hatch

Hampstead, NC

#15 Dec 30, 2009
I was Craig's best friend... I was on the trip that morning. I chose to surf on the North side. i walked with Craig down the beach in his last few moments, and truly never expected something like that to happen. It happened so quickly, and what I witnessed that morning still shakes me to this day. But I know it was all in God's plan. Craig, my best friend is in heaven now, meeting my Lord and my Savior. And I'm truly proud of him. Almost jealous that he gets to meet God ha. But please pray for the family and the eight guys on the trip who are still recovering from the accident. I will never forget that morning. I need your prayers.

Weaverville, NC

#16 Jan 9, 2012
I know I'm very late to the post. But I was on the pier that day. I get very emotional whenever I think about what happened, which is what I seem to be doing tonight. To those that knew him personally & still want to know more details I suppose I can help some with that. I was fishing near the spot his leash got hung up. I became aware of a problem before any friends knew he was missing.

I'm not sure I would want to know any more myself as in the end it really doesn't change anything but if anyone close to him feels they need to hear the story I suppose I can go over it.

I'm not a fan of spam so i'm going to give an email that I rarely check @ all. But email me w/ Avon Pier in the subject & I'll get back to you @ some point.

I'm very sorry for everyone's loss. And I hope those that were hurt worst by his loss are still finding the joy in life.

Weaverville, NC

#17 Jan 9, 2012
whoops, i forgot to leave the email...
[email protected]
Mr Zogs Wax

United States

#18 Feb 22, 2012
Were you guys dodging and rapping bollards?We do that in California and it's extremely dangerous!What was the surf like to be so close?Was he hit by his board?Was he dragged by his leash?You surf Cats need to know!

Ex-Surf Cat,
San Diego,CA.
k daniel

Nitro, WV

#19 Dec 30, 2012
i look back on all the beach trips with our 5 kids and all their friends and my heart still breaks for this boys family and husband and sons had to pull in their fishing lines off avon pier that day and saw the child in the water by the pilings. one of the rescuers was clotheslined by one of the fishermans grandchildren were there...our prayers were with the family then and now. such a sad day on our beautiful vicious ocean... i picture him surfin with jesus love and peace to his family

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