HERTFORD, N.C. (WAVY) - Officials identified the two boaters killed in a crash off the North Carolina coast Friday.
Daniel Manke, 50, of Hertford, N.C., and Blaine Weyant, 48, of Edenton, N.C., died in the crash, according to a spokesperson with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.
The surviving boater was identified as Edward White, 47, of Hertford, N.C.. WAVY.com spoke to White's father about the crash. Bob White told 10 On Your Side his son is at home recovering, but heartbroken over the loss of his best friend Manke.
"I'm sure he's broken up and hurt about it," White said. "I know he is pretty torn up but he's fortunate to be alive."
Investigators say the three men are friends and were enjoying some recreational time on the boat at the time of the crash. The cause of the crash is still under investigation.
North Carolina Coast Guard watchstanders were contacted a little before 2 p.m. on Friday about a boating accident involving three people in the Yeopin River in Chowan County, according to Petty Officer Brandyn Hill with the Coast Guard.
"It was kind of horrific," said local crabber Justin Proctor.
Proctor said he'll never forget what he saw Friday afternoon when he pulled up to the boat that was wrecked on the shoreline.
"It wasn't pretty," Proctor added. "There were two bodies and a boat in four pieces."
He also found one boater still alive. That person was flown to Albemarle Hospital in Elizabeth City with very serious injuries. The plan is to move him to Sentara Norfolk General.
"He was in bad condition," Proctor said.
Officers with the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission say the boaters are from Snug Harbor area in Chowan County. They are experienced boaters and were driving an 18-foot recreational speed boat.
"It's unexplainable," Proctor added. "I don't even know how it happened. It's not possible that they got that far in there unless they were running in excess of 80 miles an hour."
Proctor said the water where the accident happened is very shallow. He said it is about one foot deep for 200 yards off the coast. He was surprised the boat didn't bottom out before the crash.
Officers have not yet determined who was driving the boat, but they believe alcohol and high speed played a major role.
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