Man waiting to light old quarantine platform that killed wife last year
 

SOUTHPORT, NC (WWAY) -- Ed pierce planned to light an old quarantine platform in the Cape Fear River near Southport this weekend, but his attorney says he needs to file the appropriate paperwork before installing the lights.

Pierce lost his wife last year after the boat they were riding in hit platform.

Last week the coast guard said it could not remove, mark, or light the platform because it's outside the boundaries of the river's marked navigable channel.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.

Does this structure still serve some useful purpose? If not, why is it not removed? Why would an individual even have to be compelled to do something about it to make the public safer? My hat goes off to him for being concerned about everyone else's safety. My finger wags at those who are charged with and paid to protect the public who want nothing to do with removing this structure if it servees no purpose or marking it so a tragedy such as this never has to happen again.

A news report last week stated that it cannot be removed because there is a question as to who actually owns it.

Lighting it will not keep the public safe. It would more likely cause a hazard. The platform is 165 yards outside of the marked navigation route. I feel bad that this man lost his wife, but the person steering the boat is to blame, not the platform that has not been hit by a boat before this incident.

...nautical navigation do you Susan? That's okay, but it helps to know just a weeee bit about what you're talking about before making a post and wagging that almighty finger.

Here's some history for you:

1. The quarantine platform is part of the quarantine station used to inspect incoming vessels for disease like cholera and yellow fever potentially carried in by sailors and passengers of vessels coming in from the Caribbean and South America to Smithville, now known as Southport.

2. The quarantine station was completed in 1897.

3. The platform is located nearly 2 football fields OUTSIDE of the navigable channel. There is no reason to be boating in that area, especially at night, especially without the aid of a spotlight.

4. There is no record of any vessel or any casualty arising from impact to this structure since 1897.

5. As unfortunate as this incident is and that a soul was lost, the vessels captain was well off course unaware of his location, disoriented by the night, not using a spotlight to sweep his course and steaming too fast in these conditions. It was an accident with very sad consequences.

I feel for the fellow but somebody needs to stop him before he creates a navigational hazard. Lighting something outside of the marked channel could confuse a boater or worse. There's a reason everything sticking out of the water ISN'T marked. Think man think!

Does he not realize that if anything ever happens again involving that structure, he will likely be held responsible. Lights he put up fail, and someone - little boat or shipping vessel - hits it, or anything else, he will be sued for failure to maintain. If someone can claim they had an accident because they misinterpreted the lights as being some other marker, they also will come after him.

The coast guard is saying they won't touch it because they don't want to expand their responsibility, not just because of the cost.

what does plan on putting on it? Solar lawn lights, or something designed and manufactured for the purpose?

Sad story, I hate making that crossing even in the daylight

I don't know what his "lighting plan" is but it surely had better not interfere or be confused with any of the other USCG charted channel markers! If a ship runs aground or a recreational boater is brought off course and causes an accident by this "lighting" that Ed plans, there could be substantial lawsuits. I would recommend the use of reflective paint. Either red with white letters stating "DANGER", or yellow with black letters.

Who is going to maintain the "light". There's no power there so it will have to be battery operated with a solar charging system as a minimum. Who will insure that it is kept operable?

I fully understand Ed's reasoning and hold great compassion for his loss, but this 1800's era platform is clearly 2 football fields out of the channel and has never been recorded to have been hit by another vessel in almost 200 years. Ed use your money wisely and paint the platform, then throw some to the USCG and USPS for boater safety and education programs.