Local News

ECU student from Raleigh drowns at NC coast

Posted June 2, 2013

— A 19-year-old East Carolina University student died Sunday after being pulled underwater while swimming in Pine Knoll Shores.

Braxton Horton, of Raleigh, got caught in a rip current and drowned shortly after 4:30 p.m., said the Carteret County town's mayor, Ken Jones.

His body was found around 7 p.m. at a beach access point on the west end of Pine Knoll Shores, Jones said.

Horton was working at Camp Sea Gull, a YMCA sailing camp for boys in the Pamlico County town of Arapahoe, for the summer. He had been living at the coast for about a week. 


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  • dan20 Jun 3, 2013

    I had the pleasure of meeting Braxton at a ECU football game last fall, he was rooming with the son of a close family friend. He was a fine young man and my heart breaks for his family.

  • mojaintsmall Jun 3, 2013

    somebody better get the true story about what really happened and not just blame the rip current

  • heard-it-all-before Jun 3, 2013

    i grew up swimming in the ocean. pine knoll / emerald isle / atlantic beach in fact. now, as a parent, i can't stand it. too dangerous, too unpredictable, too impossible to rescue someone that goes under. especially bad at pine knoll area b/c it's an east/west beach with strong parallel currents and constantly moving rips. and no lifeguards on 90% of the island.

    condolences to the family.

  • gmlandscape Jun 3, 2013

    My sincere sympathies as well but please correct your story. Rip currents cannot pull swimmers under water, they can only carry swimmers a short distance from shore. This might seem like a subtle difference, but someone will more likely panic more if they feel they will be pulled under than pulled away from shore and panic is a major contributor to life threatening situations in the water. If rip currents pulled swimmers under water, there would be many more life threatening situations at our beaches. Proper knowledge about rip currents is important.

  • Whatdaheck Jun 3, 2013

    My sincerest condolences to his family. One of my teen children and me came within 30 seconds of drowning a few years ago because of a rip current. I knew all about them but had never experienced one. It was subtle. We went from upper chest-high water to *less* than a foot over our heads. We were fatigued from a day in the surf. The lifeguards were packing their things to leave for the day when I waved. They (2) came to our rescue just in time. That was a wake up call.

    Be careful. it can happen to anyone. RIP Braxton.

  • umop apisdn Jun 3, 2013

    Very sad. Condolences to his friends and family.