December 11, 2014
unattended, anchored sail boat in Silver Lake Harbor has become
unmoored and is getting close to being aground near Silver Lake and
Sarah Ellen Drive following the latest wind storm Wednesday, Dec. 8,
that had gusts up to 50 mph. This is the third unattended boat to
get loose since a storm Nov. 1.
Unattended boats cause problems in Ocracoke harbor
By PETER VANKEVICKH AND CONNIE LEINBACH
“If we get another high
tide and wind out of the north and east, it will end up in the marsh,”
said Byron Miller, who along with his father, Norman, secured one of
the loose boats of Nov. 1. “It will take a west wind to blow it back
Bill Gilbert, owner of the Anchorage Inn & Marina, is
also concerned and concurs with others that loose boats have caused
damage to property and other boats.
With the previous two loose boats, the owners were contacted and they are now tethered to a dock owned by Jackie Wilson.
The Ocracoke Observer reported on the Nov. 1 incident and wrote an editorial in its December print issue.
County Commissioner John Fletcher and County Manager Bill Rich
have gone on record that Hyde County should address this problem after
Norman Miller’s testimony at the county commissioners meeting
on Nov. 3.
“I think we should look at the legislation
dealing with this issue that Dare and Brunswick Counties got passed by
the North Carolina General Assembly and see if Hyde
County should try for something like it,” Fletcher yesterday.
“It’s a problem that’s existed for many years.”
In the meantime,
officials from different agencies are scratching their heads about how
to deal with unattended or abandoned boats that good-Samaritan
residents are left to handle, both in terms of time and cost.
Fuller, Ocracoke district ranger supervisor for the National Park
Service, also agreed that unattended boats have been a longstanding
problem that no one seems to want to tackle.
He said earlier this
year the park service disposed of a loose sail boat that was damaging
the NPS public dock. They tried to track down the owner, but it
had changed hands a few times and they could not determine an owner, he
“We hauled it out of there with our front-end loader, took
it to our maintenance area, crushed it and put it in our dumpster,”
Robert Anthony, Hyde County enforcement officer for
N.C. Fish and Wildlife, said today he would try to find the owner
through official channels.
(Read more about Ocracoke Island at www.ocracokeobserver.com. Reprinted with permission.)