BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) – The South Brunswick High School family is mourning the tragic loss of 17-year-old James Prince.
Oak Island Fire Department Chief Chris Anselmo says rescue crews recovered Prince's body Tuesday night off Oak Island. Rescuers were called when a swimmer was reported missing near the Oak Island Pier about 7 p.m.
Medical crews attempted to revive the victim by doing CPR, but he never regained consciousness.
According to a spokesperson from Brunswick County School, Prince was a senior and student athlete at South Brunswick High School who touched the lives of everyone he met.
"We are all truly saddened by this tragedy," said Scott Wainwright, SBHS teacher and head basketball coach. "James was a great teammate with a wonderful work ethic. He loved the competition of sports and the brotherhood of practice. Where he shined the most was off the court and field. His loyalty to his friends and family was unmatched. His smile and sense of humor was contagious. He was a captain and a natural leader. Everyone who coached James at any level is glad they had the opportunity."
Crisis team members were available Wednesday at South Brunswick High School to support students and staff. Students who wish to come together to support each other and to receive assistance by the team were invited to come to the school Wednesday.
School counselor Johnny Manning shared Prince was, "The young man you want your daughter to date and your son to be best friends with."
Prince was a standout athlete. He was a captain of the basketball team and the football team at SBHS. Head football coach, Joshua Rusk spoke about Prince's character on Wednesday afternoon.
"James was a kid that everyone knew and everyone loved. Not so much from his athletic career but because of his life off the field as well," said Rusk. "He was funny and a prankster in the classroom. He was an all around great kid."
Rusk says instead of coaching football, right now his mind is set on coaching his players through a tough time in their lives as they mourn the loss of a teammate.
"They're taking it hard. It's very difficult for them to understand," said Rusk. "But we're telling them now that it's important to remember the good things. It's a grieving process and missing a friend who they've known for 16 or 17 years. So, we're just trying to help them get through it."
Principal Wayne Price announced Wednesday the school will hold a memorial service for SBHS students to celebrate Prince's life Thursday, June 13 at 7:30 p.m. on the school's football field.