UNDERSEA MEMORIAL FOR LOCAL DIVER
Sam Blount wanted to do something to memorialize his
good friend Brian Davis, who died June 22 at age 21 while
scuba diving 36 miles southeast of Masonboro Inlet. Brian
was “a true waterman,’’ Blount says, so something below the
waves seemed natural.
“I figured we’d end up with a small memorial and go sink it
somewhere,” Blount says. “It’s become quite wild with what’s
What’s happening is Davis’ friends in the local diving com-munity
will sink a tug to create an artificial reef.
“It’s beyond what I expected,” says Blount, owner of Front
Line Freediving in Wilmington.
Blount set up an online fundraising page. When money
started pouring in — almost $70,000 by the middle of August
— he set his sights on an artificial reef. A group in Florida vol-unteered
to donate a tug. Then the Coastal Conservation Association of North Carolina said it could
find one closer to home.
Blount is working with the Army Corps of Engineers and the Onslow Bay Artificial Reef Association
to sink the boat off Frying Pan Shoals, northeast of Bald Head Island.
“My hope is next summer,” Blount says. “It would be great to sink it on the day of his passing. That
would be amazing.” — Simon Gonzalez
PHOTOS COURTESY OF SAM BLOUNT
Brian Davis, seen in all three
photos, was an avid diver and