Abandoned boats cause environmental concerns; city looks for answers

Local

NEW BERN, N.C. (WNCT) — Two boats are slowly sinking just off the shore of Lawson Creek Park.

The boats have been abandoned for months, but it’s still the responsibility of the owner to remove them.

Foster Hughes, City of New Bern Parks and Recreation Director, said they’ve been communicating with NC Marine Patrol and Wildlife Resources to try and get the situation taken care of.

Right now, there is no city ordinance to give the city power to take care of derelict vessels.

The ordinance would need to get special approval from the North Carolina Legislature.

Hughes said the process has been time consuming, and he understands the two boats are an eye sore.

Neither boat poses an environmental concern at the moment.

“To my understanding [the Coast Guard] have looked at the power boat…there is no leading oil or gas, and normally when that happens the Coast Guard will pump any of those hazards out and they’ll flag it,” said Hughes.

Hughes said since he’s been in the department, he’s seen eight different abandoned vessels.

As for how the boats got there, Hughes said one of the boats started to take on water before Hurricane Dorian, and despite the owners efforts to pump out water its continuing to sink.

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