The Brunswick beacon. (Shallotte, N.C.) 19??-current, October 15, 1987, Image 1
THE Twenty-fifth Year, Number 49 C'lvsr THE BKUNSWICK BEACON 3y, October 15. 1987 25c Per Copy 40 Pages Plus Insert Ash Man Charged In Murder Cases THICK SMOKE BOH.S from the Capt. Jim as the Calabash-based charter boat biinis to the water line and later sinks. This was the view from the Sea Hawk II just after it and other fishing boats rescued the 61 passengers and PHOtOBr ED IBACMAl five crew members who jumped intEi the Atlantic Ocean as they abandoned ship shortly before 9 a.ni. Saturday. Disaster Avoided As 'Capt. Jim' Fire Forces 61 Into Atlantic BY SL'SAN USHER It was a beautiful morning to fish and the black sea bass and grouper were only about three miles away. With rod.s and reels distributed and .some hooks baited, passengers and crew of the Calabash-based charter Jim were vvEiiting to liegin casiini- Saturday morning when they iie.ia! ;i sudden loud “pop.” It w;is about 8;45 a.m. Within only iniiuilcs Captain .lames T. (Jimmy) .Stevens and four crew members were pa.s.sing out life vests; their 56 pa.ssengers forced to jtimp into the ■Atlantic Ocean as they abandoned the burning boat. Eight nearby fishing boats came quickly to their rescue; most were in the water no more than 30 minutes. All were accounted for and safe by 11:05 a.m., with only several minor injuries. Back at the Capt. Jim Marina, the passengers were met by more than 50 area rescue and fire volunteers and equipment from the Calabash, Wac- camaw and Shallotte rescue squads and Calabash and Sunset Beach fire departments. Calabash Rescue open ed iLs .squad building for showers and a local re.staiirant. Captain Nance’s offered free coffee. Eleven persons were examined at the Brunswick Hospital in Supply, said spokesman Pete Barnette, with one sdrnitted for nf possible pneumonia because he had taken salt water in his lungs. Injuries were minor, he said, mostly bumps and bruises where passengers were pulled aboard rescue boats. Two people were treated and released from Grand Strand Memorial in Myrtle Beach, S.C. Cecil I^gan prai.scd the work of the emergency volui.ieers as "well, wed done,” a sentiment echoed by pas.sengers. He also praised the charter boat captains. “1 can’t say enough for the fishing boats,” he said. “If it had not been for their quick action. I’m afraid we would have lost some people.” As Captain Stevens was reunited with his wife, Juanita, at the Calabash docks, he said, "We got everybody; that’s what I’m proudest of.” First thing back at the office he peeled off his wet “Capt. Jim” sweat shirt, rifled through a nearby rack and donned a fresh one, spoke to his wife, employees and several reporters. Then he began refunding to passengers the $17 each they had paid for the trip. The Capt. Jim, loaded to about half its 116-passenger capacity, liad left the dock at 8 a.m. and was to liave returned at noon. Instead, passengers and crew wat ched from choppy, 71-degree water 2nd from rescue vessels a.: the 70-foot mahogany Harkers Island-built vessel went up in flames, thick, black smoke from its diesel fuel boiling from the engine room. Within two hours it had burned to the water line, in another two hours it had sunk. “I hate it about the boat.” said an emotional Gina Stocks, one of the four crew members ami operator of the canteen on the Capt. Jim for .n\ years. “I put in 14 to 15 hours a day with it. It’s a part of me.” She jumped overboard without a life vest; a fellow crew member and a passenger helped keep her aflojit. When the boat stopped suddenly about five miles east of Little River Inlet, some passengers thought they’d arrived at their destination and at least one started fishing. Capt. Stevens was in in the wheelhouse when his radio and elec tronic navigational equipment sud denly went dead. “That’s when I knew something was wrong,” lie recalled. He went to the engine room and cut the electricity. Returning to the wheelhouse, he cut a wire that ap peared to have shorted out lieneath the radio. Crew members warned him that black smoke was pouring from the engine room; he and a crew member returned to it with fire ex tinguishers, he said, “But we couldn’t stay because the smoke was so thick.” Passenger Everette Morcficld of East Bend was on board with his son. .lonathan, 9, tlie youngest passenger. Though scared, both jumped without liesiUition. Afterwards they stood on the dock, wet. cold, sliaken, huddled like other pa.ssengers in lilaiikets and towels, sharing their ex- (leriences. ■■\Ve saw a buneli of smoke and Uie» .sUirted liai.diiig out life vests,” .Morclield recalled. --We hadn’t got to fish yet." • It haiipeiied pretly'fast,” recalled (See DISASTER. Page i-A) BY RAHN ADAM.S Three montlis after his release from prison on a murder conviction, a Brunswick County man has been charged with two counts of first- degree murder, in connection with the shooting deatlis la.st week of two Wilmington men. Haeford CJayton Piver. 42. of Route 1, Ash. faces murder charges in both Brunswick and New Hanover coun ties. The charges stem from the Oct. 6 slayings of Nick H. Patelos, 31. out side a Wilmington bar, and .Michael Edward Baker, 33, at Gris.settown. Bruiuswick County Sheriffs Capt. Phil Perry said la.st week no other suspects arc being sought, although both cases renuiin under investiga tion by the Brunswick County Sheriff's Department. Wilmington ^olico und SB!. Piver initially was taken into custody last Tuesday morning by- Brunswick County officers on a con cealed weapons charge. .Murder charges were officially filed late that night. Perry said. Piver also is charged w-illi posses sion of a firearm by a felon, accor ding to the Brunswick County Clerk of Court’s office. The suspect made his first court appearance on the Brunsw ick County- charges last Wednesday. District Court Judge D. Jack Hooks ,Ir. scheduled a probable cause hearing for Oct. 26 in Bolivia. Piver will be represented by Shallotte attorneys Rex Gore and Michael Ramos. Piver made a first appearance last Thursday in New Hanover County- District Court on the murder charge there. .ludge Jaeqiieliiie Morris- tioodson set a probalile cause hear ing for Oet -20 in Wilmington, and ap- liointed Wilmington atlorney richard Milltr to reprtscr.l Piv-.i in ttie New- Hanover case. ’Die defendant was being held in the Bninswick County .Jail without bond. According to Wilmingto.n Police Capt. Jimmy Williams, the first .shooting la.st week occurred just after midnight Oct. 6 in the parking lot of Diana’s Ixiunge (formerly Friendly’s Bar and Lounge) on Market Street in Wilmington. Williams said the shooting followed an apparent argument between Piver and Patelos, w-ho had been playing pool inside the bar. Patelos was believed not to be carrying a weapon at the time of the shooting, he .said. Patelos was dead of multiple gun shot wounds by the time emergency personnel arrived on the scene, Williams said. Authorities have not released po.ssible motives in the murders. According to Wilmington Police Sgt. J. L. Yost, authorities last week received conflicting information from tw o sources as to whether or not Piver and Patelos actually had been involved in an argument prior to the Wilmington shooting. However, in vestigators are assuming an argu ment occurred, although it “was not so flagrant that everybody (in the ban noticed it,” Yost said. Yost also said police had no documented evidence last week that the first shooting was drug-related, even though police were “looking at all aspects” in their continuing in vestigation. Williams said a white female and two white males reportedly left the shooting scene in a blue and white 1976 Ford Econoline van owned by Baker, the second victim. The woman, who Williams did not identify, was questioned by police last week. No charges liave been aguiii.st her, although her involve ment remains under investigation, WilliuiiLs said. .-Wtording to Perry, Baker s b.dy was found Oct. 6 around 5:40 a.m. by a new-spaper carrier in a service sta tion driveway near the intersection of (See ASH, Page2-A) CANAL LOTS TARGETED County Sanitarians Reviewing Holden Septic Tank Applications More Closely BY SUSAN USHER Owners of property at Holden Beach, particularly canal lots, are finding it more difficult these days to obtain septic tank permits from the Brunswick County Health Depart ment. After reviewing preliminary fin dings of a wastewater treatment study undertaken by McKim and Creed Engineers of Wilmington at the town’s the Brunswick Coimtv Health Department has ado[)ted a new- approach in reviewing permit aiiplications from the island. •We are looking a little more close ly at soil cliaraetE-ristics of Holden Beach, primarily in tile area of the finger canals,” said .John Crowder, environiiiental health siipervi.sor. • The test well results gave us some idea i.f what wi- need to look at.” llie departnienl plans to hold a pulilii- meeting at Holden Beach within the i«-xt .several weeks to di.s(-iiss the permit situation, with N.C. Division of Health Services per sonnel present. In contrast to reports circulating at Holden Beach, Crowder emphasized the health department is “not closing the canals to development,” though more permits have been denied in re cent months than in the past. A newsletter dated Oct. 5 and distributed by one of the island’s largest property management and real estate firms advi.sed readers that as of that week, “the Brunswick County Health Department and/or Tow n of Holden Beach will announce that no more .septic- permits will lie given on any canal lots on Holden Beach without an engineer’s report and approval. •'This means if you own a vacant lot and you don’t liave a septic permit that is valid, you have a major pro blem. it will be almo.st impassible to get a permit.” Town Admini.strator T.C. Birm ingham said the town has “nothing to do” with issuance of septic tank per mits, that being the re.spon.siblity of the health department. He said he understood a number of applications for septic permits for canal lots had been turned down recently a.nd that health officials planned to hold a public meeting on i’ne su’uject. “People are upset because w-e’re not as liberal with optioas as in the past,” said Crowder. “We want to gel some outside help.” Crowder said state health officials and possibly other specialists w ill be asked to “take a look” at the lots in question and meet witli residents. Pending confirmations, details of the meeting haven’t been announced. The prelimary findings of the study, he noted, indicated some fecal conform bacteria contamination, though it could not ascertain the source. ••The study was inconclusive, but it gives the town a slartiiig (See SKI»TICTANK, Page ‘2-A | INVESTIGATORS believe Saturday night’s fire in which Joe and Pearl Faircloth were critically burned SIAEE PHOTO BT BAHN ADAMS was ignited by a kerosene heater in the rear portion of the couple’s frame house at Sunset Harbor. Fire Victims Still Critical An elderly Sunset Harlxir couple remained in critical condition Tue.sday, three days after their home was destroyed in a fire believed started by a kerosene healer. Joe Faircloth, 70, and his wife. Pearl F'airclolh, 69. were being treated Tuesday in the Burn Center at N.C. Memorial Ho.spital in Chapel Hill—taken there by air aiiibulaiue.s .Saturday night from The Brunswick Ho.spital in .Supply. •‘We had to get them both cut of liere fa.st if they svere to survive,” said Public Information Officer Pete Barnette of Tlic Brunswick Haspital. Barnette .said iKilh vicliias suffered first- and .second-rlegrce burns over 80 percent of their bodies. Ea.st ('are and Life FTiglit helicopters from Green ville and Durham were used to transport the couple to Chapel Hill .Saturday night. .According to Sunset Harbor-Zion Hill Fin- Chii-f Clifford Si-haefer, two neighbors inilled the Fairclolhs from the liiirniiig hou.se lH*fore firemen arrived on the sc-eiie .Saturday shortly after the 6:45 p in. call. SE-liaefer .said that whi-ii firemen arrived the vic- tiiiLs were lying in an open area across from the house, which is located beside Faircloths’ Grocery near the waterfront off .Sunset Harlwr Road. The couple has operated the local store for more than 40 years. CTiastline Volunteer Rescue Squad transported the Faircloths to The Brunswick Hospital, Schaefer said. .Schaefer and Brunswick County Fire Marshal Cecil Logan .“.aid Monday that investigators believe the fire wa.-; caused by a kerosene heater malfunction. Firefighters found the five-room frame house fully involved in flames, Schaefer said. Sunset Harbor-Zion Hill VFD was on the scene until around 10:30 p.m. Saturday. Supply and Tri-Beach Volunteer Fire Departments provided mutual aid. .Scluiefer .siiid Sun.set Harbor-Zion Hill volunteer Anthony Murray was treated at The Brunswick Hosiiilal for smoke inhalation and a twisted ankle and was rcleasi'd. Logan c.sliiiialfd damages to tlie house at $25,000. Four of live riMuiLs in ttie hou.se were destroyed, he said.