Coastal North Carolina cities fed up with boat abandonment, working on a solution

Coast Guard Chief Petty Officers James King and Gregory Livingston, members of the Gulf strike team, evaluate a displaced sailboat in New Bern on Sept. 30, 2018. The sailboat was displaced during Hurricane Florence. (Photo: Chief Warrant Officer 2 Russell Strathern)

One problem has plagued North Carolina’s waterways for years, particularly after Hurricane Florence: abandoned boats.

The latest in New Bern sits between New Bern and Bridgeton, tainting the beauty of Union Point Park’s holiday decorations.

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It is one of six total sitting in waterways with New Bern city limits.

“There’s one south of the Twin Span Bridge,” said New Bern Mayor Dana Outlaw, “four north of the Twin Span Bridge, then the one by Union Point Park.”

According to Outlaw, those six do not include the three boats the city already paid to remove — a costly task with which Outlaw says he is fed up.

“Someone’s gotta pay to get it out of the water,” Outlaw explained. “And unfortunately in Wrightsville Beach, Beaufort, New Bern, Manteo — to get rid of these things, we’re footing the bill.”

Outlaw says that the bill — which includes the cost of removing, demolishing, and placing the boat in a landfill — can run between $1,500 and $3,000, before potential legal fees.

Read more here.