WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — If a Wilmington man gets his way, you could be climbing aboard a new ship in the Cape Fear River in the future.
The Coast Guard Cutter Midgett is still in service, but a former crew member hopes that when the ship is decommissioned it will make its permanent home in the Port City.
When you walk along downtown Wilmington’s Riverwalk you get to enjoy the sights of the Battleship North Carolina and the Coast Guard Cutter Dilligence. There a chance that another ship could join them in the river: the Coast Guard Cutter Midgett.
“We’re in the exploratory phase,” Thomas Michael, Jr., said. “So far we have (Sen.) Richard Burr’s office looking into acquisition measures, but what we need to do in the meantime is coordinate the efforts between state officials, county and city officials. It’s going to take a lot of work. Much more than I can do certainly.”
Michael served aboard the Cutter Midgett. The middle school teacher says the name of the ship has deep roots in North Carolina’s Outer Banks. The Midgett family is famous for a number of rescues they made off of Cape Hatteras, and Michael says bringing the ship back to North Carolina would be a great way to honor them.
Michael says his hope for this ship is to be much more than a maritime museum.
“We are looking for it to be a beehive of activity, much as the way the Cutter Taney has been in the Inner Harbor in Baltimore, and there is a lot of activity there, and if we could bring something like that to Wilmington we’re going to bring some money.”
Michael believes that the marina north of the PPD building would be a great future home for the Cutter Midgett. Although it may be costly at first, he believes it will eventually pay off.
“Projects like this can be motivated and seen through completion by strictly economic considerations,” Michael said.
The Midgett still has two years left of service, so it would be some time before the ship could make its way to our waters.
The effort to bring the Midgett to Wilmington would not involve the Battleship North Carolina. Capt. Terry Bragg, executive director of the Battleship, did tell us that he wishes luck to the project.