Capt. Charlie Griffin, 'Wicked Tuna' star, dies in boating accident on the Outer Banks

Kari Pugh, The Virginian-Pilot on

Published in Entertainment News

Capt. Charlie “Griff” Griffin of “Wicked Tuna” fame died Monday on the Outer Banks after his boat went missing near Oregon Inlet, according to his Facebook page.

The Coast Guard 5th District Public Affairs Office said the agency responded to an overdue boater Monday morning in that area, but declined to provide further details as crews wrapped up the incident.

Word went out through the commercial fishing community earlier in the day that Griffin’s boat had gone missing in the rough waters of Oregon Inlet, which joins the Pamlico Sound to the Atlantic Ocean south of Nags Head. Unruly currents and wild weather conditions have made the inlet one of the most notoriously unpredictable waterways on the East Coast.

Local newsman Sam Walker wrote on his website that several private vessels had joined a search for Griffin around Oregon Inlet and adjacent Pea Island.

Late Monday afternoon, a message was posted on his Facebook page “Reels of Fortune.”

“It is with the deepest sadness we report that Charlie Griffin and his beloved dog, Leila, have passed away in a boating accident today, March 4th,” the post reads. “Please keep family and friends in your thoughts and prayers. We will forever remember Griff!”


Griffin and the crew of his boat starred in episodes 2-5 of “Wicked Tuna Outer Banks,” winning the fourth season. The National Geographic series follows a group of “salty fisherman” who make their living reeling in lucrative bluefin tuna, according to the show’s website. On the show, crews battle other tuna boats for the most profit, with a winner crowned at the end.

By late Monday afternoon, Outer Banks social media pages were flooded with tributes and memories of Griffin.

“He was an Outer Banks Original,” Jody O’Donnell, a local radio host, wrote on Facebook. “We had him on the show a couple times when Griff was on ‘Wicked Tuna Outer Banks.’ Most of what I knew of him was from his old friend and fishing compadre Captain Marty Brill. I’m thinking of Marty and all of Griff’s family and friends during this trying time.”


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