Vibrio may have caused 2nd Dare County death

By on August 24, 2023

Murray Bridges. (File photo by Michelle Wagner/OBV)

Endurance Seafood owner Murray Bridges passed on Aug. 22

By Mark Jurkowitz and Maggie Miles| Outer Banks Voice

The Aug. 22 death of Murray Bridges, 89, the longtime owner of the Endurance Seafood Company on Colington Rd. may have been the result of a deadly Vibrio bacterial infection, according to an interview given by his daughter, Kristina “Kissy” Bridges.

In an Aug. 23 article in the The Virginian-Pilot Kissy Bridges described her consultations with doctors about the case, saying, “I believe they called it Vibrio. His heart and blood pressure couldn’t handle it.”

Last month, the Voice reported on what is believed to be the Vibrio-related death of 71-year-old Nags Head resident Mike Gard on July 21 as the result of an infection of a cut he sustained. On July 28, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCHHS) issued a statement noting that while Vibrio cases are rare, three North Carolina residents had died as a result of them in July 2023.

In the wake of Gard’s death, Dare County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Director Sheila Davies said last month that only about 10 Vibrio cases had been reported in Dare in the past six years, with Gard’s case being the only fatality up to that point.

Since the passing of Murray Bridges earlier this week, officials of both the DHHS and NCHHS say they have not yet received confirmation or notification of a new Vibrio case.

Earlier this week, the Voice published a story from the Coastal Review Online revealing that the Vibrio bacteria—which is dangerous in “warm estuarian waters…to people with vulnerable immune systems who have fresh wounds or have eaten raw oysters”—is becoming more prevalent in more Northern waters as a result of an increasingly warming climate.

In response to the community outpouring of condolences and sympathy over the death of Murray Bridges, an Aug. 24 post on the Endurance Seafood Facebook page stated that “My family and I would like to thank everyone for your prayers, thoughts, support, and kindness. He touched many people in different ways. We were so lucky to have him in our lives.”

It also noted that there will be a Viewing at Twiford’s funeral home in Manteo on Saturday, Aug. 26 from 7 p.m.- 9 p.m. The funeral for Murray Bridges will be in Colington at the Hilltop Cemetery Sunday, Aug. 27 at 2 p.m.

His obituary notes that Murray Bridges was born in Wanchese and that he served in the U.S. Navy and was a member of Manteo Lodge #521 for more than 50 years.



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  • surf123

    Krissy Bridges needs to step up and confirm what they doctors told her and what is on the death certificate. The health department can get the death certificate, however citizens other than immediate family cannot. It is a complete disservice to the community to say “I believe they called it Vibrio”. Either they did or they did not and this is definitely something the community and health department need to know. @Mark thanks for publishing this if only as a reminder that the prior death may not have been a one-off.

    Thursday, Aug 24 @ 4:43 pm
  • Murf123

    Surf…her name is Kissy, and her father passed away 2 days ago. The science will follow to see if it was Vibrio, but not really that pressing for the family planning a funeral for a great man. Show some respect.

    Thursday, Aug 24 @ 9:03 pm