Boaters in Carolina Beach are ticked about being towed

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Submitted: Thu, 05/31/2007 - 3:32am
Updated: Thu, 03/29/2012 - 12:54am

The holiday weekend brought boaters out to our waters. In Carolina Beach, finding parking was a problem. Boaters say there’s never enough parking at the state-owned parking lot just off the Snow’s Cut Bridge. It provides access to the wildlife boat ramp. When boaters can’t find a space, they’re forced to improvise. "We’ve had a problem in parking in this boat ramp I guess, for about two, I say a good year," James Lucas, a commercial fisherman who’s truck and boat trailer were towed this weekend. Lucas says parking is even more challenging during holiday weekends, when lots of people hit the water. Parking spots are clearly marked. There’s a section for single cars and another for trucks with trailers. But at the Wildlife boat ramp, many say there’s not enough room, and people get creative with parking. "Single cars parking over here where truck trailers are supposed to park not over there where they supposed to park and its not giving us no room to park over there," Fred Jones who’s car was towed this weekend, said. Lucas and Jones both had their trucks and trailers towed memorial day weekend when they parked illegally in spots where only single cars should park. They say its unfair. "They didn’t get a ticket for parking in our spots but we got a ticket for parking in theirs," Lucas said. To retrieve the vehicles? $240. Where did the money go? Right into the towing company’s pocket. "The tow truck guy is the only guy that makes the money," Lucas said, "There’s potholes in the landing, there’s no place to park." The towing company, Coastal Recovery, chose to not comment on camera, but said Lucas and Jones broke the law and should be required to pay. NewsChannel 3 called local towing companies to compare the fee and 250 dollars is a competitive price tow a pick-up and a boat trailer. Lucas says he’s willing to hand over the cash but not to the towing company. "I would have rather got a ticket and put money back in to the state so that I knew that we would have the resources to do something about the parking lot," Lucas said. The state is trying to do something about the lot. Officials at the Engineering Division of the state Wildlife Committee say there just aren’t enough funds to expand. A meeting is scheduled for Thursday to try to develop creative solutions.

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