WASHINGTON (WECT) – Following a widower's public pleas, Congressman Mike McIntyre is calling for changes to the unlit remains of an old quarantine station in the waters near Southport that left a woman dead in 2012.
Ed Pierce was driving a boat that struck the station, leaving him injured and killing his wife, Barbara.
Pierce said on the recent anniversary of his wife's death that the attention surrounding the accident faded too quickly, adding that he wanted the structure to be made more visible with lighting.
Wednesday, a spokesperson for McIntyre said the Congressman has written to the United States Coast Guard, explaining that the abandoned structure is very dangerous for area boaters and asking it to be either removed or given adequate lighting.
The following is McIntyre's letter to the Coast Guard asking for assistance:
Admiral Robert J. Papp, Jr.
United States Coast Guard, Commandant
2100 2nd St SW STOP 7238
Washington, DC 20593-7238
Dear Admiral Papp,
I appreciate the opportunity to bring to your attention a very serious matter facing southeastern North Carolina and those accessing the Cape Fear River for work and for leisure.
I am seeking the assistance of the US Coast Guard in the removal, or lighting, of an abandoned concrete structure located on the Cape Fear River east of Southport, North Carolina. The structure is all that remains of an abandoned quarantine station dating back to the late 1800's. This incredibly dangerous impediment has already caused boating accidents, resulting in serious injury and, in one case just a year ago, the death of a wife and mother.
The United States Coast Guard's mission statement goal #1 is, "to provide reasonably free, safe, and unobstructed passage for waterborne traffic while considering the needs of land transportation." I request that in the interest of public safety and in honor of those that have already lost so much to the dangers of this impediment, that the USCG expeditiously aid in the removal of, or at a minimum, lighting of said structure. If, for any reason, the USCG is unable to oversee these changes, please provide guidance as to alternative ways to accomplish this goal.
I am including a copy of a recent Wilmington Star News article detailing the tragedy caused by this hazardous abandoned structure. I would appreciate any information or assistance that you can provide in an expedited manner, in hopes of avoiding any future tragedies. Thank you for all that you do in defense of our great nation, and I look forward to hearing from you.