Friends remember man who was killed in an accident at work

Reported by Max Winitz - bio|email
Posted by Peter Smelser - email
Updated by Debra Worley - email

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - The New Hanover County Sheriff's Office and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) are investigating a fatal work-related accident at Pages Creek Marine.

According to a news release, 25-year-old Ryan Lee Church was lining up a boat and a trailer when the boat fell on him and he was trapped underneath around 5:15 Wednesday afternoon.

Employees tried to give Church CPR, but when emergency responders got to the scene, Church was pronounced dead.

"I'll never forget him," said friend Jay Landen.  "You never forget someone like that."

Landen and Church spent most of their time together boating and reeling in Kingfigh off Wrightsville Beach.

"He would literally give you the shirt off his back," said Landen.  "He is the most unselfish person I've ever come in contact with.  He would lend a hand with anything you needed help with."

According to Landen, Church was in love with the outdoors, so much that he intended to get a job with the Division of Marine Fisheries.

"He won't be forgotten," said Landen.  "We will always remember Ryan. I think there's a piece of him in every bit of us.  I know that every time I'm on the water or see the water, I'll think of him."

OSHA was contacted as a routine procedure involving a workplace fatality.

Pages Creek Marine will remain closed until Monday, Oct. 12 because of the death.

Visitation services for Ryan will be held Saturday at Andrews Mortuary on Market Street in Wilmington from 6:00-8:00pm.  His funeral is schedule for Sunday at Frist Baptist Church on Market Street at 2:00pm.

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