Eastern NC surfers petition to lift restrictions on recreational water access

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A petition has gathered more than 4,900 signatures in just days as surfers work to lift restrictions on Carteret County beaches.

An anonymous North Carolina surfer created theĀ petitionĀ this week in an effort to allow surfing amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

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Emerald Isle Police Chief James Reese says police arrested three surfers on Tuesday, saying they refused to get out of the water when asked to do so.

Several towns along the Bogue Banks are prohibiting swimming, surfing, kiting and non-motorized water access because of the coronavirus pandemic. Mayors say the decision was made to reduce the demand for first responders and discourage travel.

David Taylor surfs in eastern North Carolina and says he is the three-time East Coast Surfing champion. Taylor says he signed the petition without hesitation because he believes the restrictions are unjust. According to Taylor, most surfers would not need rescuing.