WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WECT) - The popular Wrightsville Beach landmark became a party destination this summer, but partiers visiting Palm Tree Island have been more closely monitored by sheriff's deputies.
Lieutenant Jerry Brewer with the New Hanover County Sheriff's Office says after receiving complaints about noise and underage drinking this summer, the marine division stepped up patrols in the area.
"The Palm Tree Island has been here for years and its really never been an issue you know," Brewer said. "It's just this year we've had a lot of people going out and there's been some under aged drinking there and a lot of loud music."
The complaints came from residents of nearby Lee's Cut Subdivision, which is just yards away from the island.
"The condos are only 100 yards away so of course once that complaint came in we've addressed it the past couple weekends," Brewer said. "According to our officers who have been there and the people who live there it's been great, it's been quiet and that's not to say we don't want people to go there, we do. Go there, enjoy the day and have music just don't have it so loud that someone 100 yards away has got a problem with it."
Aside from the loud music, underage drinking has also been a problem at Palm Tree Island.
"Once the complaints came in that got our attention and we are addressing that and we'll continue to address it. If they're going to go there and underage drink and play loud music then we're going to address it. The sheriff has enforced that and we are following that enforcement to the letter," Brewer said.
Brewer said no citations have been issued at the island this weekend.
"The thing with Palm Tree Island is it depends on the tide. So this weekend the tide is dead high in the middle of the day so there's not a lot of place for them to go so people will migrate to different inlets. So this weekends not been too much of an issue. Last weekend we had a noise ordinance violation and we had several underage drinking consumptions so we addressed all of that."
Brewer also reminds boaters and beach goers that it is illegal to have liquor on most boats and all beaches.
"Another issue that a lot of people don't realize so we're trying to get the world out so they do, it's illegal for you to have liquor on on the beaches, on the islands, on the sand bar. So if you have a bottle of liquor that's illegal and we've been citing for that as well."