an investigation by the U.S. Coast Guard, an abandoned vessel that
washed up on the beach in Avon on Sept. 27 and was thought to have once
held refugees, will be on display in the Hatteras community again.
to Hatteras Island District Ranger Joe Darling, the Coast Guard asked
the National Park Service to respond to the call last Tuesday afternoon
when the vessel was found on the beach. The Avon Volunteer Fire
Department also responded.
photographing and measuring it and noting other details of the
obviously very cleverly homemade vessel, the Park Service talked
several times with Coast Guard Sector North Carolina in
Wilmington. Darling said that, at the time, the Coast Guard
didn't seem interested in the boat.
and ranger Peter Malionek removed some diesel fuel, a hazardous
material from the boat, and the vessel was towed off the beach by
Jarvis Williams of Jarvis’ Towing in Buxton.
took the boat on a trailer to Cape Hatteras Secondary School for
several days, so students could see the boat and learn more about
refugees who flee their country. From canned sardines found in the
boat, this one is thought to have originated in Cuba.
much publicity about the "shipwreck" of the curious "refugee" vessel,
personnel from the U.S. Coast Guard came to Buxton on Friday, Sept. 30,
to examine the boat.
think they were treating it as a criminal investigation because of the
people missing,” said Williams. “They weren’t as worried about the boat
as they were about the people who disappeared. They did a thorough
investigation, looking at the boat, taking measurements, taking
pictures, and making phone calls back and forth.”
At the request of the Coast Guard, Williams locked up the vessel in his impound lot while the investigation was ongoing.
of Tuesday, Oct. 4, the case has been suspended, according to Joshua
Canup, Petty Officer 3rd Class for the U.S. Coast Guard.
now, the Coast Guard is done looking into it,” said Canup. “If any
further details arise we’ll look into it further, but as it stands, we
don’t have any searches or investigations related to it.”
a result, the vessel will soon be moved out of the impound lot and will
be back on display in front of William’s gas station, Cape Point Exxon,
in the heart of Buxton.
The Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum has also voiced an interest in obtaining the boat to display it some point in the future.
representative from] the museum came by and measured it today, so they
are definitely interested in it,” said Williams. “And in the meantime,
I’ll put it back out on display again until they make up their mind.
I’ve had several calls from people wanting to see it.”
Scarborough of the Graveyard of the Atlantic confirms that the vessel,
which has held a fascination for the community as well as students,
fits in well with the maritime museum's mission.
helps to tell our story of the Graveyard of the Atlantic and this
maritime landscape that we find ourselves living in,” says Scarborough.
“…It’s also very mysterious, and we’ve all been speculating about what
happened to the inhabitants in the vessel, but maybe [having it at the
museum] will help us connect the dots a little bit.
are interested if we have a place here, but we don’t know yet when that
would happen,” she adds. “We would have to determine where it would go,
and how it would be stored in the meantime, so there are still some