Committee discusses Masonboro safety

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Submitted: Tue, 03/12/2013 - 3:13am
Updated: Tue, 03/12/2013 - 3:54pm

MASONBORO ISLAND, NC (WWAY) — Every Fourth of July, crowds of people invade Masonboro Island to party, and most of them are not local.

"All they know is, if I show up on a boat ramp with 50 bucks in my hand, or 20 bucks in my hand, I will get a ride to some place where I can have a party," says Coastal Reserve Manager Hope Sutton.

A committee of local residents and leaders discussed ways to fix the problem Monday evening. Coastal Reserve Manager Hope Sutton says she is more concerned about safety then all the trash left on the island. She says there were over 100 injuries treated last year.

"There was a young guy who sliced his thigh on a propeller of a boat down to the bone and almost bleed out before he got back to the hospital."

The committee discussed increasing law enforcement, installing signs to warn partiers of dangerous currents, and even monitoring how intoxicated visitors are before arriving on the island.

A few leaders mentioned restricting use of the island on July 4, but most agree it is not fair to punish those who are not breaking any laws.


  • ChefnSurf says:

    What happens on Masonboro on that holiday in no way celebrates our country’s Independence Day unless you believe Independence Day was actually about humans allowing their basest instincts to run unfettered.

    I think Masonboro’s a great place, been there lots of times, but if some of us are just going to turn the place into a stinking pile of bacchanalian behavior, garbage and human waste every July 4th, it should be closed down for that particular holiday. No one has an inalienable right to deliberately trash the place once a year and then leave.

  • Vog46 says:

    Bravo Chef –
    excellent wordsmithing………..


  • Vog46 says:

    Here try this.
    Don’t litter.
    Drink all you want
    But don’t leave even a pop top tab behind.
    Like EVERYTHING else what started out small has grown to out of control proportions…….


  • greenie says:

    Usually I avoid the island on holidays, but last year I ended up on the north end near the cove. Deputies, WPD, Wildlife, and Coast Guard were all patrolling by boat. I wonder if everyone in town realizes just how many people congregate on that island and in the adjacent waters on certain holidays? Law enforcement is completely outnumbered to the point that they become ineffective. I assume that they remain on station and let a lot of minor infractions slide so as to continue to provide a presence. Maybe a more proportional law enforcement presence, and stricter enforcement will prevent the public’s thought process that it is a safe haven for BWI, public intoxication, and indecent exposure.

    It becomes the wild west out there (which for most of the year is the draw of the island – but is a lesson that chaos rules in the absence of law). These parties become a place where weekend boaters who are landlocked most of the year, with little experience and lots of money for oversized yachts, become intoxicated and unfortunately become hazards. Add currents, wind, anchor lines, partiers swimming from boat to boat, and you do get a dangerous situation.

    I don’t know the answer. I love Masonboro. I think have the right idea in that it should remain open for the continued enjoyment of the people that take care of it. Pack your trash, respect the wildlife, and don’t screw it up for everyone.

  • Vog46 says:

    Spread seagull food all over the island especially the beach. After getting inundated with seagull poop maybe these beer swilling, drug taking, sex addicted beach goers will take the hint.
    If not, have the boys from Homeland Security that normally patrol our Port go out there for “target practice”.

    That should “do it”.


  • Guestilm1 says:

    Yes, have Homeland Security shoot at US citizens for drinking on a beach in celebration of our country’s Independence Day. Great idea as usual Vog…

  • B M says:

    The biggest problem is there are a few people who just can not stand to see people enjoying themselves, so they try and shut them down, it’s the 4th and people are stressed out, let them unwind, this is not a perfect world and when you have a lot of people there are going to be a few injuries, but this country was not founded to become a police state, holidays are for enjoying yourself and celebrating what was at one time this country’s independence.

  • Guest Reply says:

    Want me to post signs all around out there saying…”No Trespassing?
    I will for 5 bux…end of story for the Masonboro Cold Case Files that surface every year.

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