Topsail High School student drowns at Cape Hatteras

Reported by Claire Simms - bio|email
Updated by Peter Smelser - email

HAMPSTEAD, NC (WECT) - A 15-year-old student at Topsail High School drowned while surfing at Cape Hatteras in Dare County.

Paul Stevens, the chief park ranger at Cape Hatteras National Seashore, says nine young people from the Hampstead area were surfing Friday morning at Avon Pier in six to ten-foot swells.

Around 11:35 a.m. there was a 911 call that a surfer was in trouble.

Stevens says they found 15-year-old Craig Marshall's surfboard underneath the pier.  They believe his leash became tangled with the pilings.

Hatteras Island Rescue recovered Marshall's body an hour and 15 minutes later.

People in Hampstead remember Marshall as a good person with lots of friends.

Topsail High senior Cameron Redwine says everyone knew Marshall as funny, outgoing and adventurous.

"It just kinda happened," said friend Cameron Redwine. "No one was really expecting it, a big shock to everybody that he's not going to come back. He's going to be missed."

Marshall was the youngest of four siblings and the type of with whom person people wanted to be friends.

"Craig was just an all-around down to earth guy," said friend Matthew Poole. "I mean, he was just so...when you needed him, he was there."

School officials say there were extra counselors at Topsail High School Friday to help students and families cope.

©2009 WECT. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.