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How many drownings have there been in the Northeast Cape Fear River at Castle Hayne?

Pressley Baird

Q. Seems like in the last few years there have been a lot of drownings in the river in Castle Hayne. How many drownings have occurred here?

A. According to StarNews archives, there has been one confirmed and one possible drowning in the Northeast Cape Fear River since August 2011.

In August 2011, during Hurricane Irene, officials from the New Hanover County Sheriff’s office searched the river for a man who was said to have jumped into the river and then disappeared. Officials called off the search after about an hour and half due to high winds and rain. The man was never identified.

In April 2013, a man identified as Michael Darren Caison drowned after telling family he was going to swim across the river from Riverside Park in Castle Hayne. Caison’s body was located after a multiple-hour search by side-scan sonar on the sheriff’s office boat.


Have there been any recent studies on bacteria levels in Castle Hayne at the river? Is it safe to swim there?

Why did the Parks Department remove picnic tables from River Side Park in Castle Hayne?


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