Don Boles, 60, of Eagle Springs died Saturday at Carolina Beach after diving into the water to save his 7-year-old granddaughter and son-in-law. James Barbour, 53, of Clayton also died after the two men swam out to save the pair who were struggling to get back to shore Saturday afternoon.
The drowning took place at Carolina Beach near the Dolphin Lane beach access around 3:50 pm.
Boles and Barbour swam out to help the struggling family before first responders arrived on scene but never made it back to shore. According to Chief Spivey, several other good Samaritans went in the water with Boles and Barber and were able to make it safely back to shore.
Authorities stated they used fishermen on boats to help located Boles and Barbour. CPR was administered unsuccessfully.
Zoe Crumb, age 7, was hospitalized but is expected to be released later today.
“As soon as my Daddy realized Zoe was in trouble he didn’t hesitate. He just screamed for her and ran into the water. He died a hero. He loved his family and his granddaughters more than anything, ” said Whittney Crumb, the mother of Zoe and daughter of Don Boles. “I can’t imagine what the Barbour family is feeling right now; to lose a loved one saving a complete stranger on vacation. Mr. Barbour also died a hero”
Don Boles worked for NTA and leaves behind his wife, Sharon, sons, Justin and Tristan, daughter, Whittney Crumb, and granddaughters, Zoe and Madison.
Feature photo: Don Boles with his granddaughters Madison & Zoe.