'Wicked Tuna' Star Captain Charlie Griffin Found Dead

Search efforts for a second missing boater continued Monday night after the 'Wicked Tuna' star's boat went missing on the Outer Banks Sunday.

Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks' Captain Charlie Griffin has died. Griffin passed away after his boat went missing Sunday night near the Outer Banks' Oregon Inlet Sunday night, with his Facebook page Reels of Fortune confirming Monday that Griffin and his dog, Leila, had died. A second person who was aboard the vessel remains missing.

"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," a statement shared to Griffin's Facebook read. "Please keep family and friends in your thoughts and prayers. We will forever remember Griff!"

It is with the deepest sadness we report that Charlie Griffin and his beloved dog, Leila, have passed away in a boating...

Posted by Reels Of Fortune Wicked Tuna on Monday, March 4, 2024

According to a Coast Guard spokesperson, per The Virginian-Pilot, the Coast Guard received a report at around 11:35 p.m. Sunday of two overdue boaters traveling from Virginia Beach to Wanchese for repairs. The last communication with the boaters had been about 6:15 p.m. that night. A search for the missing boaters, led by the Coast Guard and local first responders, began by water and ATV, with searchers discovering the boat south of Oregon Inlet, considered to be one of the most unpredictable waterways on the East Coast, about 70 yards offshore in the break. Searches also found an "unresponsive person" and a deceased dog. A medical examiner declared the person dead. As of Monday night, the Coast Guard was still searching for a second missing person.

Griffin was best known for starring in the National Geographic Channel's reality series Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks. The series, a spinoff of the flagship Wicked Tuna, premiered in 2014 and centered on commercial tuna fishermen based in the Outer Banks who fish for the lucrative Atlantic bluefin tuna off the coast of North Carolina. Griffin appeared on the show from Seasons 2 through 5, winning Season 4.

News of his passing sparked an outpouring of tributes, with local North Carolina business NC Watermen United remembering Griffin on Facebook as a "well respected and beloved captain" who "touched all whom he met including all his fans from his days on Wicked Tuna: Outer Banks." Jody O'Donnell, a local radio host, called Griffin "an Outer Banks Original." One fan commented, "this is extremely sad for all fan of the show and fishing fans he will forever be one of my favorites."