Former Wicked Tuna star dies in Oregon Inlet boating accident

OREGON INLET, N.C. (WITN) – One boater has been found dead, while the Coast Guard continues to search for a second person after a boat heading to the Outer Banks was overdue.

Several social media sources had identified the man as former Wicked Tuna Outer Banks star Captain Charlie “Griff” Griffin. National Geographic posted the following condolences on the television series’ Facebook page Tuesday evening:

“National Geographic and Pilgrim Media Group were saddened to learn that Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks cast member Captain Charlie “Griff” Griffin passed away this week after a shipwreck unrelated to the series. Charlie was the captain of the fishing vessel Reels of Fortune and appeared on seasons two through five of Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks, fishing side-by-side on the series with his only child, Jake. Charlie was known to all as a spirited fisherman with a big heart. We join Charlie’s family, fellow cast members, and friends in mourning his untimely loss.”

Griffin was a fan favorite and even won the bluefin fishing competition amongst the other captains on the show in season four. While he was on the show, Griffin was known for singing his catchphrase tune “tuna fishing baby – yeah!”

The U.S. Coast Guard says the boat was returning from Virginia Beach to Wanchese for repairs when it was reported overdue around 11:30 p.m. Sunday.

The last communication with the boat was at 6:15 p.m. on Sunday around Nags Head, says the Coast Guard.

Overnight, the Coast Guard says crews searched for the missing person between Nags Head and Rodanthe.

This morning, officials said search efforts were continuing. The Coast Guard says they will be searching by air, boat, as well as on the shoreline.

On Monday, a helicopter from Elizabeth City was able to complete two searches before bad weather came in, while a 47-foot boat from Oregon Inlet was also assisting with the search.

The Coast Guard also says it recovered the body of a dog about two miles south of Oregon Inlet, as well as the boat.

The man’s body was found on a beach where they had washed up, officials said, around 9:50 a.m. Monday.

Crews Monday afternoon were using ATVs to help with shoreline searches for the other person onboard.

Officials have not released the name of the second missing boater, or if the boat was the same vessel used on the television series.