‘Someone should do something about that’

Published 8:06 pm Wednesday, June 13, 2018

It’s that time of year again. Visitors to the Washington Waterfront on sunny days this week will have likely seen the little white sails of the Washington Sailing School scooting across the water.

As the eager young sailors pilot their Optimist prams and sloop-rigged Vangard 420s across the Pamlico, they will undoubtedly notice the washed-out shells of sailboats left to the whims of the river, never to sail again.

Vessels that sank after the wind blew out of the Pamlico in March are still there, resting on the bottom, unlikely to be raised anytime soon. As these vessels continue to deteriorate, chances are that their owners are not coming back for them.

What kind of message do these boats send to our young people? That it’s okay to leave your boat in the middle of the river with no consequence or expectation that you will clean it up?

What kind of message does it send to our tourists, or even our own residents? Do we not, as a community, have the sense of pride to keep our waterways free of such eyesores?

Imagine a waterfront in 2028 where those same vessels are still there. At the 10-year mark, shipwrecks fall under the authority of the N.C. Division of Archives and History. In essence, they become a historical artifact, and the difficulties of removal increase substantially.

As of right now, there is no legal recourse in Beaufort County to compel a boat owner to take responsibility for their abandoned vessel. The power to make such an ordinance is specifically granted to the counties by the N.C. General Assembly.

A wise man once said that when one encounters a problem, the easiest (and least effective) thing one can do is say the words, “someone should do something about that.”

While recognizing something as a problem is admittedly a start towards addressing it, placing the responsibility on a vague “someone” to take action on a problem is about as useful as a

Rather, the wise man instead admonished those listening to choose another set of words. In all things, he encouraged those listening to say instead, with vigor, “I’ll do it!”

Granted, it would not make sense (or be fair) for one person or entity to take on the monumental effort of raising and removing these vessels. However, there are enough individuals and organizations interested in this topic that something could certainly be done.

That being said, perhaps a slight alteration is in order for the advice of the wise man. Let us together say, “We’ll do it!”