Antwaun M. Jackson

In the afternoon of July 9, 2022, in North Topsail Beach, North Carolina, two women, 24 and 33, were teaching two young family members, 7 and 6, how to use a bodyboard in shallow water in the New River Inlet near where it connected with the Atlantic Ocean. The group of four reached a location where they could no longer touch the bottom, and suddenly struggled in a strong current. The women called out for help and alerted relatives on the beach. Among those on the shore was production worker Antwaun M. Jackson, 40, from Jacksonville, North Carolina, who was a cousin to all four pulled out by the current. Jackson left the beach and waded into the water to the area where the women were seen struggling. Another female cousin who also responded helped the two girls onto a bodyboard as Jackson swam beyond the two women to push them from behind toward shore. Other men from separate groups entered the water after seeing a cluster of distressed swimmers, including Jackson. They helped aid the women, girls, and the cousin back to safety in wadable water. Jackson remained stranded in the rough current, beyond the reach of some men and responding police officers. A rescue disc attached to a rope was thrown into the water in Jackson’s direction to no effect. Ultimately, Jackson submerged, did not resurface, and could not be found by rescue crews. Jackson’s body was never recovered.

Jackson wading toward family members struggling in the rough water.