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STAFF PHOIOS BY IYNN CAXISON
Lunch time revelers gather at Sa
turday's annual Day at the Docks
sponsored by the Greater Holden
Beach Merchants Association.
Above, residents and visitors en
joy tasty treats, view local artwork
and learn about safe boating at
Holden Reach Marina. At left,
volunteers serve fish plates to
benefit Tri-Beach Volunteer Fire
Derpartment. Those attending en
joyed boat rides from dock to
dock, as festival events also took
place at Capt'n Pete's and Inde
pendent Seafood docks.
Leaking Shrimp Boat Removed From
Intracoasta! Waterway Last Week
BY DOUG RUTTER
A partially-sunken shrimp boat that was leak
ing petroleum was removed from the Atlantic
Intracoastal Waterway last week, nearly three
weeks after sinking at its dock.
The U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Office
in Wilmington is still investigating the ease and
hasn't determined whether the boat owner will be
cited or fined, said Ensign Karl Delooff.
"The investigation is still in progress, but it
should be closing soon," Delooff said Friday.
"The environmental impact should be negligible
if there is any."
The trawler No Way sank at its dock near
Holdcn Beach Bridge March 5 and die Coast
Guard noticed a sheen on the water the following
day. It was determined that dicscl fuel and motor
oil leaked from the damaged vessel.
A containment boom was used to keep the
spill from spreading, but petroleum washed over
the boom during the March 13 winter storm.
"That storm really thrashed the area pretty
good," Delooff said.
The 50-foot wooden trawler was removed
from the waterway last Tuesday by a commercial
salvage company hired by boat owner Ann
Pittman, according to the Coast Guard.
"There would have
been no damage io the
environment if they
came down here and
gave me a hand"
Gerald Pillman, son of the owner, contends
that the trawler wouldn't have sunk and wouldn't
have leaked petroleum into the waterway if the
Coast Guard had responded to calls before the
Pittman said in a telephone interview last
week that the Coast Guard was called twice the
day before boat sank and asked for assistance.
The Coast Guard didn't show up until the next
"All of this could have been avoided if they
had come and helped me," Pittman said. "If they
would have sent one little boat down here none
of this would have happened. 1 don't understand.
I thought that's what they were for."
Delooff said the Coasl Guard's hands were
lied by a law ihat requires the agency to allow
commercial salvage companies to tackle such
jobs when no lives arc in dangci and there isn't
risk of injury.
"Our top priority is to save lives," Delooff
said. "If there's no life in danger and there arc
commercial salvors available we have to allow
them to do it. As soon as life is put in danger we
can rush in and take over."
Although no lives were in danger, Pittman
said the environment was being threatened by the
"There would have been no damage to the
environment if they came down here and gave
me a hand," he said. "We don't want to pollute
the environment. We feci really bad about it. We
did all we could do."
Delooff said the law is open to interpretation in
cases like the No Way incident. "When a situation
like this occurs it's real fuzzy as to how far we
can go. A lot of eases it is a judgment call."
Delooff said both the Coast Guard and boat
owner have a responsibility to protect the envi
ronment. If the Coast Guard determines that a vi
olation occurred, the owner could face a fine of
up to S25.CXX).
Holden Committee Says Sewer Plant Needed
BY DOUG RUTTER
Holdcn Beach's sewer commiuee
believes treating and disposing of
wastewater at a central plant would
solve the island's pollution prob
lems, according to a report presented
last week to the board of commis
The two-page report released last
Wednesday says ground and surface
waters are being polluted due to the
inability of conventional septic sys
tems to function properly on Holdcn
As part of its research, the fact
finding committee reviewed waste
water treatment studies commis
sioned by the town in 1987 and
1989 and discussed the issue with
three engineering firms.
'The one thing all five firms
agree upon is that the Town of
Holdcn Beach's septic tank system
is not providing proper disposition
of our waste," the committee report
Town board members did not dis
cuss the report last week. They de
cided to hold off until after Tuesday
night's meeting regarding formation
of a regional sewer district in the
South Brunswick Islands.
Sewer committee members are
Jim Griffin, Jack Potter, Jim Lowell,
Helen White and Harold Steorts.
Their two-page report indicates that
the natural conditions at Holden
Beach are not conducive to conven
tional septic systems.
"It appears that the problem on
Holden Beach is thai there is not
enough acrobatic treatment soil be
tween the septic tank drain lines and
the high water level to treat the ef
fluents being discharged by the con
ventional septic tank systems."
"This high water level combined
with the back and forth movement
of water in the sub-soil (tide
changes, runoff waters and rain)
causes pollution in the sub-soils,
groundwater and surface waters."
Committee members think the
pollution problem could be solved
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by moving scptic tank effluent to an
other area for treatment and dis
"We could of course stop further
building and heavily restrict the use
of the existing septic tank systems
but this would not be a realistic op
tion," the report states.
The sewer committee has heard
presentations from Powell Asso
ciates, Harmon Environmental Ser
vices and William C. Piver Engin
According to the report, Powell
Associates agrees with the two pre
vious wastewater studies in that "the
density of development is too great
for proper functioning of septic tank
The committee reported that the
five engineering firms have recom
mended three types of systems, but
they do not agree on which one
would be best for Holdcn Beach.
Speaking for the committee at last
week's meeting, Lowell said the best
option would be the "step system."
It pumps effluent from the septic
tank to a treatment facility. Cost esti
mates for this type of system range
from S3.9 million to S9.1 million.
Other alternatives include a con
ventional gravity-flow system with
pumping stations located throughout
the island. That would cost between
S8.8 million and S15 million.
For approximately S4 million, the
town could build a "hybrid system"
using a grinder and pump. Hook-up
fees would range from S2.000 to
S4.000 per household. Monthly ser
vice fees would be between $20 and
Lowell also said building a sewer
plant on the island is not economi
cally feasible. The report says grants
and low-interest loans might be
available if Holden Beach formed a
"sewage district" on the mainland.
Lowell said the committee is will
ing to do more work at the town
board's request. "1 don't think we're
at a standstill or any end point," he
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The U.S. Coast Guard Oak Island
Station reported two search and res
cue operations in nearby waters
Saturday, according to BMCS J.D.
Amdt, officer in charge.
At about 2:45 p.m., authorities at
Coast Guard Group Fort Macon re
ceived a radio call from the ship
"Meeraa," with a report of an in
jured crewman on board. The man
had fallen down a ladder while the
vessel was approximately 60 miles
southeast of the Cape Fear River.
A Coast Guard helicopter was
dispatched from the air station in
FJi/abeth City with an emergency
medical technician on board to as
sist. The EMT and equipment was
lowered from the helicopter to the
ship's deck at about 7 p.m.
Because of the patient's condi
tion, it was determined that he could
not be safely hoisted onto the heli
copter. Instead, the captain of the
Meeriut decided to navigate into the
Cape Fear River and transfer the pa
tient to a waiting ambulance at the
Sunny Point Military Ocean Term
Coast Guard Injured Man
Aboard Ship Off Cape Fear
However the ship did not have Ihe
appropriate charts to navigate the
river. So the helicopter lowered the
necessary navigational materials to
the Meeraa's crew.
The ship docked at Sunny Point
and the injured crewman was taken
to New Hanover Regional Medical
Center by a Southport Rescue Squad
At about 6 p.m., someone who
had been walking along Caswell
Beach contacted the Oak Island sta
tion and reported seeing a boat cap
sized about 2(X) yards off shore.
The station launched its 21-foot
rigid-hull inflatable fast response
boat to the reported position and
found an overturned 14-foot boat
with no survivors in the water. The
Coast Guard crew looked under the
boat, but found no one trapped be
It was later determined that the
boat had Hipped earlier in the day
and the occupants had made it to
Sirens To Test At Low Volume
People living in the 10-milc area
around Carolina Power & Light's
Brunswick nuclear plant may hear
sirens on April 6, 7 and 8.
Because CP&L tests the sirens in
dividually, there is no specific time
when residents should expect to hear
CP&L will test each siren at low
volume. This will sound like a
"growl" and will last only a few sec
onds. Residents may not hear the
sirens unless they are very close to a
siren when it is tested. These tests
are not intended to check volume
but to make sure each siren works.
CP&L conducts a silent test every
iwo weeks and conducts ihc "growl"
tests every three months. It conducts
a tuii-voiume test once each year.
The rotating sirens are mounted on
tall poles at 34 locations within 10
miles of the plant.
The sounding of the sirens does
not mean the public should evacu
ate. In an emergency, the sirens
would alert the public to listen to ra
dio and television for information
and instructions from the Emer
gency Broadcast System.
Questions about the tests may be
directed to county or state emer
gency management offices, to
CP&L's Brunswick Visitors Center
or any CP&L business office.
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