Listing cruise boat could soon be on the move

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The boat Eager Miss is seen listing to its port side at its mooring off the Camden Causeway on Friday.

Eager Miss.jpg

By William F. West
Staff Writer

Sunday, August 5, 2018

An old cruise boat listing to its port side in the Pasquotank River and moored just off the Camden Causeway since last year could soon be on the move.

Elizabeth City police Chief Eddie Buffaloe Jr. said in an email Friday his department is working with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and local officials to have the Eager Miss either repaired or removed from the water.

"We will keep you abreast to our future progress," Buffaloe said.

Buffaloe said in his email the vessel still legally belongs to its listed owner, John Brice.

Contacted by Facebook on Thursday, however, Brice claimed he no longer owns the Eager Miss. Brice said he donated the vessel to the city police department and the vessel now has a new owner after being put up for auction by police.

City Manager Rich Olson would only say in an email Friday that the city has received multiple complaints about the vessel. 

"We also had several individuals that said they would help pay to have the vessel removed," he said.

The Eager Miss has been moored just off Machelhe Island on the Camden Causeway for more than a year. 

Local emergency management records about the vessel date back to August 2017. In an interview with The Daily Advance published in November, a Coast Guard official said it was his understanding the Eager Miss ran aground and started taking on water, causing its engine to stall. A private boat-towing service towed the Eager Miss toward the Pelican Marina, which is on the causeway.

The owners of the Pelican, however, declined to allow the Eager Miss to be moored at the marina because the boat's condition was considered a liability to their business.

The Coast Guard official said the agency was aware of complaints about the Eager Miss, but that there was nothing it could do because the vessel was neither polluting the Pasquotank River or obstructing navigation on the river.

The vessel also had the proper life-jackets and sound-producing devices aboard, and its batteries were also also in order, meaning its lights could be activated when necessary.

Attempts last week to obtain an update from Coast Guard Small Boat Station Elizabeth City about the Eager Miss were unsuccessful.