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DISTRICT ATTORNEY: No Charges In Boating Accident That Killed Tanner Webb

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The district attorney says there will be no criminal charges brought in a boating accident that killed a high school freshman.

Tanner Webb was killed three weeks ago when the 15-year-old fell off a boat in the Trent River.

District Attorney Scott Thomas says the investigation by North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission officers found no "careless or reckless conduct of the boat operator or other passengers."

Thomas said they have determined the teen's death was caused by an accidental fall from the boat, and that neither alcohol nor drugs were involved.

In a news release, Thomas outlined what the investigation found.

He said there were four 14 and 15 year old teens on the boat, including the driver who had passed a safe boating course, allowing him to operate the boat.

The investigation shows at one point, Webb moved from a seat to the bow of the boat, with his legs hanging over the front. The boat, a 22-foot Kencraft Bay Rider, has no seats, handles or other hardware on the bow, according to investigators.

While the boat was going between 15 and 20 miles per hour, Webb fell from the bow after sitting there for approximately two minutes, the investigation showed.

The district attorney says it was not clear what caused the teen to fall, though one passenger thought they may have cross a small wake just prior to him falling.

One of the passengers saw Webb fall out of the corner of his eye and screamed, according to the report. All aboard felt a thud, and looked around and briefly saw Webb face down in the water.

The operator of the boat slowed and turned the boat around to where the teen was last seen, the report says.

Thomas says the teen died from head trauma, consistent with being struck with the boat's propellers.

Webb's body was recovered the next day.

Major Chris Huebner, with the Wildlife Resources Commission, says the state has no specific law against riding on the bow.

He says officers make judgement calls on whether passengers on the bow may be considered negligent boat operation and whether the operator is then ticketed.


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Thousands of people attended a memorial service for a teen killed in a boating accident a week ago.

Tanner Webb, 15, was killed when he fell off a boat in the Trent River near River Bend last Monday.

Webb was a freshman at New Bern High School and played on the school's junior varsity baseball team.

The service was held at the school's baseball field. The baseball diamond was decorated in his favorite UNC gear and Webb's #5 jersey number was outlined in baseballs.

The 15 year old's baseball coach, friends and teammates spoke in depth about the teenager who they described as funny, intelligent, caring and compassionate.

"If I am alone, I will think of Tanner's friendship," said baseball coach Jon Draught. "If I need to calm down on a stressful day, I'll think of Tanner's smile."

In lieu of flowers, Webb's family requested donations be made to a scholarship fund in his memory to First Citizens Bank or State Employees' Credit Union. The money will fund scholarships to graduating students.



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A memorial service will be held on a high school baseball field for a teen who died in a boating accident on Monday.

15-year-old Tanner Webb was killed when he fell off a boat in the Trent River near River Bend. The Coast Guard says the teen was not wearing a life jacket, and there were five other teens on that boat at the time.

Webb was a freshman at New Bern High School and a member of the junior varsity baseball team.

Cotten Funeral Home says his memorial service will be 10:00 a.m. Monday at Boykin Field at New Bern High School.

Meanwhile, a memorial fund in honor of the teen has been established, with donations going to benefit the community in Webb's name.

People wanting to donate can go to any First Citizens Bank. Checks should be made out to the "Tanner Webb Memorial Fund".



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Authorities have now confirmed the name of the teenager killed in Monday's boating accident in Craven County.

North Carolina Wildlife Resources says the victim was 15-year-old Tanner Webb.

Webb was a freshman at New Bern High School, according to Craven County Schools.

The teen was on the school's junior varsity baseball team, playing outfield and also pitching. This morning teammates gathered at the field to say a prayer for Webb, as well as placing a memorial on the infield.

Authorities say the boy fell off a 21-foot-long boat Monday afternoon on the Trent River near Gull Pointe.

Search crews found the teen's body early this afternoon.

The body was brought to the boat ramp at Lawson Creek Park in New Bern shortly before 1:30 p.m.

Wildlife says Webb was on a boat with five other teenagers when he fell into the water around 4:30 p.m. Monday. The U.S. Coast Guard says the teen was not wearing a life jacket.

Rescue crews searched well into the night, and then again this morning.


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Search crews from multiple counties continue their efforts to find the body of a teenager who fell into the Trent River Monday afternoon.

River Bend police say around 4:30 p.m. Monday, the 15-year-old boy fell off the 21-foot-long boat.

Divers were underwater, rescue boats floating on the water, and the PEDRO helicopter from Cherry Point was hovering above the river- all searching for the teen.

Later that night the rescue mission turned into a recovery effort.

Multiple teams continue to work in the river, which is between 8 and 12 feet deep in the area.

The boy's name has not yet been released by authorities.


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Police said a search and rescue mission has turned into a search and recovery effort after a 15-year-old boy fell into the Trent River Monday afternoon.

Emergency officials say the search has resumed. Crews looked for the teen until 3 a.m. before calling off the search for a few hours.

Expect to see a heavy presence of crews between markers 18 and 20 on the river.

Around 4:30 p.m. on Monday, River Bend police said the teen apparently fell off a 21-foot-long boat into the Trent River.

That afternoon divers were underwater, rescue boats floating on the water, and the PEDRO helicopter from Cherry Point was hovering above the river- all searching for the teen.

During the search early Monday evening, officials said more divers and side sonar scan equipment would be coming in to continue the search.


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The rescue mission for a missing teen boater in the Trent River has now switched to a recovery operation.

Several boats, along with the PEDRO helicopter from Cherry Point, were searching for the teen who apparently fell off a 21-foot boat in the Trent River near River Bend around 4:30.

River Bend police say that individual is a 15 year old boy.

Police say after several hours of searching, they are now in a recovery operation and will be bringing in divers from Atlantic Beach and side scan sonar to try and locate the boy's body.

They say they believe it is in water 8 to 12 feet deep.

We're also told Vanceboro is also bringing in a boat and side scan sonar.

We'll continue to update the story as we get new information.

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Rescue crews are converging on the Trent River in Craven County, searching for a missing teen.

Emergency management officials say three or four boats, along with the PEDRO helicopter from Cherry Point, are searching for the teen who apparently fell off a boat in the Trent River near River Bend.

River Bend police confirm they are searching for a 15 year old boy.

Divers are in the water and searching a couple areas of interest.

Many more rescue boats are en route to the scene, which is off of Plantation Drive in River Bend.

WITN has a reporter on the scene and will update this story when new information comes in.


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