- Special Sections
- Public Notices
Standing next to a wreath on an overcast Sunday evening, Brant McMullan began the awards ceremony for the Jolly Mon King Classic by talking about Scott Hewett.
The eulogy was not the way McMullan thought he’d have to begin the ceremony at the Ocean Isle Fishing Center for the two-day tournament, of which McMullan was the director.
But Hewett, the captain and owner of the Spring Run, died in a boating accident Saturday when he was caught in a fierce, fast-moving storm. He was 62.
“The most intense storms hit the Lighthouse Rock area,” McMullan told everyone at the ceremony. “A boat did capsize. They took a large wave over the stern of the boat. It cut off both engines. The boat ended up going down. I talked to a lot of people, and every single one of them has said it was by far the worst storm they have seen or been a part of on the water.
“I don’t know the exact details of what occurred, but I know two of the crew members got life jackets and they were OK. Scott somehow did not end up with a life preserver. Scott did drown yesterday.”
McMullan paused, as if his breath had been taken away.
“Let’s take a moment to remember Scott,” he said.
Many, many seconds later, McMullan resumed his talk.
“Scott was a good friend,” McMullan said. “He was a charter captain here last year. He ran one of our boats. He was experienced. He’d been fishing for a long, long time. I didn’t know Scott well until last year, when he came to me and talked about running one of the boats here. We needed some help.
“But I did know of Scott—I didn’t really know his name—back in the early ’90s, when we were fishing. I was trolling in a tournament and here comes the Spring Run, Scott’s boat, trolling by us.”
McMullan said Scott’s line hooked a fish.
“Scott reached up and grabbed that rod and proceeded to fall overboard with the rod in his hand. And the boat trolled away from him while he was in the water behind the boat fighting the fish with the rod in the air.”
The dozens of the people at the ceremony laughed.
“I never forgot the sight and I have remembered the name of that boat my entire fishing career—Spring Run. That’s why it was funny a couple of years ago when he came (here). I had never met him since then. Didn’t even know who he was. He said his boat was the Spring Run, and I told him the story about how I saw him fall into the water.”
That memory was another emotional jolt to McMullan.
“Scott was a great guy,” he said slowly. “He really was. He was old-fashioned. Whatever he said, was true.”
McMullan reached down and picked up the wreath, which a wife of one of the participants made. The wreath was to be laid on the waters Monday to honor Scott.
“It’s the beginning of a memorial to Scott,” McMullan said, “one of many more to come.”
MICHAEL PAUL is the sports editor at the Beacon. Reach him at 754-6890 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.