UPDATE around noon Sunday, Aug. 24:
Wylene Booth McDonald, the 57-year-old Wrightsville Beach resident that fell from a vessel in Banks Channel the evening of Wednesday, Aug. 20, was released from New Hanover Regional Medical Center on Saturday, Aug. 23. McDonald had been in NHRMC’s Intensive Care Unit since the incident on Wednesday. See below for details.
UPDATE around 10 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 22:
The name of the victim was released by the North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission. Wylene Booth McDonald remains in the surgical Intensive Care Unit at New Hanover Regional Medical Center after falling overboard from a vessel in Banks Channel the evening of Wednesday, Aug. 20.
NCWRC investigating officer Clayton Ludwick also said Linda Jenkins, who was driving the vessel at the time McDonald fell overboard, was charged with boating while impaired. Ludwick said he has not yet been able to determine where McDonald was standing on the boat at the time she fell in.
After McDonald fell in the water Ludwick said it was between 7-10 minutes before she was pulled from the water about eight docks south of the Carolina Yacht Club. Ludwick said a resident of Waynick Boulevard, Michael Brown, went out to find McDonald in a kayak after his wife heard McDonald’s companions searching for her in the waterway. Brown found McDonald, pulled her ashore and called 911.
“There is no doubt in my mind he saved her life,” Ludwick said.
A woman was still in critical condition as of 6 a.m. this morning after falling from a boat in Banks Channel around 9:47 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 20.
Wrightsville Beach Police Chief Dan House said three women were on board the vessel Wednesday night and the woman that fell in was at the bow of the vessel. The two other women heard a splash and realized their companion fell in the water. After searching for a while, with the help of a kayaker that heard the cries for help coming from the water, the woman was finally found and pulled ashore about 200 yards south of where the vessel had stopped around the Carolina Yacht Club.
Wrightsville Beach Police, Wrightsville Beach Ocean Rescue, North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission and New Hanover County EMS all responded to the scene.
WBPD Captain Paul Burdette said the name of the victim is not being released at this time because the next of kin had not been contacted yet.
House said it was unknown yet if the victim was intoxicated but one of the other women on the vessel was intoxicated. However, House said the driver of the vessel had been drinking but was not past the legal limit.
“Based on everything we have know there doesn’t look like there was any foul play,” House said. “It looks like it was just a really unfortunate accident.”
The North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission is investigating the incident. Stay tuned for updates from the commission’s investigating officer.
email Cole Dittmer