Q. In 2012, an individual was killed when their powerboat hit the cement platform left from the old quarantine station near Southport. It was dark at the time and the platform had no warning lights. What has subsequently been done to rectify this danger to navigation?
UPDATE: Ed Pierce, who was piloting the boat that hit the platform and whose wife was killed in the accident, is paying to install a solar powered flashing light on the obstacle to warn motorists, according to a StarNews story of July 31, 2014. Read the story here.
PREVIOUS ANSWER: One of the survivors of that crash later commented about the lack of lighting.
“We are all baffled by the fact that there is a giant cement platform in the water with no lights or indicators to protect people from it at night,” Michelle Boley told the StarNews.
Apparently, that’s still the case. Authorities were not aware of any changes to the area.
The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission Division of Law Enforcement, who responds to accidents on waterways, was not able to provide an answer to this question.
And it’s hard to say who would have enforcement of any changes.
The Coast Guard can recommend a property owner install lights, but it cannot force them to do so.
The U.S. Coast Guard’s concern is to maintain a marked channel of “safe water” for operators to use. The quarantine station, while marked on nautical charts, is outside the maintained channel.
Date posted: January 14, 2013
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