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Emerald Isle Rescue Crews and Coast Guard Search for Missing Swimmer 

Emerald Isle Police Department Issues Press Release - June 11, 2017:

Emerald Isle Police, Fire, EMS and U.S. Coastguard assets from Emerald Isle, Fort Macon and Elizabeth City have worked overnight and into the early morning Sunday searching for a swimmer initially reported missing after being caught in a rip current while swimming in Emerald Isle at around 6:08pm on June 10, 2017. Emergency services in Emerald Isle received a report of two swimmers missing in the 7900 block of the beach strand and rescue services were immediately dispatched to the scene. One of the teens, a 16 year old male was located by a surfer and was brought ashore by Emerald Isle Fire Department Lifeguards where life saving measures where started by first responders. He was taken to Carteret Health Care and then airlifted to Vidant Medical Center in Greenville where he is currently listed in critical condition.

Second Swimmer Remains Missing

The second swimmer, a 17 year old male, remains missing as of the time of this press release. A coordinated search effort involving Emerald Isle Police, Fire, EMS and the U.S. Coastguard began immediately after the initial report and has continued throughout the night. U.S. Coastguard assets involved in the search efforts include a 24-foot Special Purpose Craft-Shallow Water (SPC-SW) crew from Station Emerald Isle, a 29-foot Response Boat-Small crew from Station Fort Macon, the 87-foot patrol boat Coast Guard Cutter Shearwater out of Virginia, and a Jayhawk helicopter crew from Air Station Elizabeth City. Emerald Isle Police and Fire personnel are conducting a ground search of the shoreline.

Emerald Isle Police are not releasing the names of the victims at the request of the families. Both of the victims are from the Wayne County, NC area and were visiting Emerald Isle on a day trip.

Additional information on this matter will be released as it is received.

No additional information is available at this time.



Posted by Rhonda Ferebee Sunday, June 11, 2017 10:20:00 AM

Town Completes Purchase of Islander Drive Property, Clean-Up to Occur in June 


The Town has completed the purchase of the abandoned go-kart track and bumper boat facility on Islander Drive (adjacent to the Western Ocean Regional Access facility), and has retained a local contractor to remove all remaining concrete and debris. The entire site will be restored to a vacant, grassy field in June, and will then be reserved for future development.  The Town is pleased to acquire this land, and is anxious to immediately improve the aesthetics along Islander Drive. 

The Town purchased the 1.8 acre tract for nearly $630,000, and will invest up to an additional $70,000 in clean-up and other associated expenses.  The Town was fortunate to receive $450,000 from Carteret County to assist with this land acquisition, and greatly appreciates the County's support for the Town's efforts.  Following the clean-up, the Town will pursue the development of a "meeting and events center" in this area, and will be working to combine the new tract with the Western Ocean Regional Access and potentially other tracts in this area for the new facility.  The Town will soon begin a (likely) year-long process to refine the project goals, determine the appropriate design criteria and other project parameters, solicit a private partner, and reach an agreement for future development that enhances the Emerald Isle economy, improves aesthetics in this underutilized area, and hopefully promotes additional quality development in this area in the future. 

The potential development of a "meeting and events center" will be thoroughly considered by the Board of Commissioners over the next year, and will include multiple opportunities for public input. The Town is firmly committed to maintaining public access and parking at the Western Ocean Regional Access.  That facility currently includes 165 parking spaces for beach access, and any future development plans will retain at least that many parking spaces for public use (and ideally increase that number).  There is absolutely no potential scenario whereby beach access parking will be reduced or eliminated.  Equally important, the Town is firmly committed to its "family beach image" and "small town atmosphere", and any new "meeting and events center" will be constructed with a style and scale that is consistent with current development patterns and community values in Emerald Isle, as outlined in the Town's Comprehensive Land Use Plan. Project specifics will be determined over the next year, but any new structure(s) will comply with the Town's current building height limits and aesthetic requirements.  Essentially, the Town will be seeking a private partner that embraces the Town's overall vision that has been carefully implemented over the past several decades and that is consistent with the Comprehensive Land Use Plan for the future. 

As noted, the project specifics will be determined over the next year.  If the Town can devise a plan that achieves its goals as outlined in the Comprehensive Land Use Plan and can attract a quality private partner, the project will proceed in the coming years.  If not, the Town will either use the 1.8 acre tract for other beneficial purposes or will market this desirable property for sale to a private entity.  In the short-term, the acquisition and clean-up of the 1.8 acre tract will significantly enhance this area of Emerald Isle, and the Town is pleased to proceed.  In the long-term, there is great potential for even greater benefits for the entire Emerald Isle community, with virtually no or very minimal risk to the Town.

Additional information about the Town's progress will be included in future editions of the Emerald Tidings newsletter, and also posted at .  For more information, please contact Town Manager Frank Rush at 252-354-3424 or .  The Town looks forward to significant positive improvements along Islander Drive in the future! 

Posted by Rhonda Ferebee Friday, June 2, 2017 3:08:00 PM

Hurricane Season is Here - Be Prepared! 


The 2017 hurricane season is upon us, and the Town urges all residents and property owners to be prepared!  If the Town is threatened by a tropical storm or hurricane, regular updates will be provided via the Town's email list (sign up at ), the Town's website ( ), the Emerald Isle App (download it now at The App Store or Google Play), and via Facebook (Town of Emerald Isle, NC is the official Town page) and Twitter (@townemeraldisle).  

If you are an EI property owner, and don't already have your hurricane re-entry pass, please visit the Town Administration Building soon to secure your pass.  PLEASE don't wait until a storm is threatening EI, as the lines will be longer and Town staff must focus on immediate hurricane preparations at that time.  For more information about hurricane re-entry passes, and for other helpful hurricane information, please visit .

"When does the Emerald Isle bridge close?" is always the most common question when a storm is threatening Emerald Isle.  Please note that the bridge does not close at any pre-determined wind speed. The bridge is only closed if / when the Mayor declares a State of Emergency in Emerald Isle, enacts a mandatory evacuation order, and enacts a curfew in Emerald Isle, in which case no one should be moving around outside in Emerald Isle.  Any such actions will be communicated via the Town's various digital platforms noted above.  

Hopefully Emerald Isle will be spared this hurricane season, but, just in case, please be prepared and keep your family and property safe!

Posted by Rhonda Ferebee Friday, June 2, 2017 3:07:00 PM

Relocation of Bogue Inlet Navigation Aids Delayed Until June  


The US Army Corps of Engineers recently completed navigation dredging to better establish a new, more central route for the Bogue Inlet connecting channel between the Atlantic Ocean and the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway.  The new route is generally indicated in red below. 

Unfortunately, the US Coast Guard has delayed the relocation of navigation aids to the new channel until later in June, and has requested that the US Army Corps of Engineers complete additional touch-up dredging across the ocean bar portion of the navigation channel.  This additional dredging work is expected to occur in June, after which the US Coast Guard is expected to fully re-establish reliable navigation aids.  In the meantime, boaters should transit the inlet with caution and at their own risk, and should not rely on any navigation aids that may still be present.

Posted by Rhonda Ferebee Friday, June 2, 2017 3:03:00 PM

US Coast Guard to Remove Aids to Navigation in “Old” Bogue Inlet Connecting Channel; Is Expected to Re-position ATON to “New” Channel in June 

Due to continued shoaling and difficulty maintaining a safe and efficient navigation channel in the “old” Bogue Inlet connecting channel along Dudley Island and Bear Island (depicted in yellow), the US Army Corps of Engineers recently completed dredging activities to establish a “new”, more centrally-located navigation channel in the Bogue Inlet complex (depicted in red).  Because the “old” channel is not safe, the US Coast Guard is removing the aids to navigation (ATON) in the “old” channel.  The Town expects the US Coast Guard to re-position the aids to navigation in the “new” channel in June, after the US Army Corps of Engineers completes additional touch-up dredging across the ocean bar.  In the meantime, boaters are advised to transit the inlet at their own risk.

Click here to view image in pdf format

Posted by Rhonda Ferebee Wednesday, May 17, 2017 4:21:00 PM

FY 17-18 Recommended Budget Presented May 9  


The Town Manager's FY 17-18 Recommended Budget was formally presented to Mayor Barber and the Board of Commissioners at the May 9 regular meeting.

A full copy of the FY 17-18 Recommended Budget is now available for public review.


View the Town Manager Frank Rush's Summary Presentation of the FY 2017-2018

Posted by Rhonda Ferebee Wednesday, May 17, 2017 3:25:00 PM

Town Mourns Passing of Mitsy Overman, Long-Serving Finance Director / Assistant Town Manager 


All of us at the Town of Emerald Isle mourn the passing of Georgia “Mitsy” Overman, and extend our deepest condolences and many prayers to her family.  Mitsy passed away in Morehead City on Tuesday, May 9, 2017 at the age of 69.  Mitsy served the public dutifully for 41 years, with 22 years of service to the Town of Atlantic Beach followed by nearly 19 years of service to the Town of Emerald Isle prior to her retirement in January 2015.  Mitsy served in numerous roles in each local government, including service as Tax Collector, Town Clerk, Finance Director, Assistant Town Manager, and as Acting Town Manager.  She was a true veteran of local government, and her public service was greatly appreciated by those in both communities.    

Services will be held on May 11 and May 12, and details are located at

Posted by Rhonda Ferebee Thursday, May 11, 2017 11:16:00 AM

Beach Parking Permits Available at the Emerald Isle Community Center 


The Town began charging for parking at the Eastern Ocean Regional Access and Western Ocean Regional Access on Friday, April 14, and will continue charging on weekends and holidays through mid-September.  Emerald Isle taxpayers are eligible for two free parking permits, and these can be obtained at the Emerald Isle Community Center during normal business hours. Please make sure you secure your permit before you visit the regional access facilities. To learn more, and to apply online, visit . 

Posted by Rhonda Ferebee Friday, May 5, 2017 5:06:00 PM

Nies Attorneys Submit Petition to US Supreme Court to Review Public Trust Beach Case 


In December 2016, after a 5-year legal process, the NC Supreme Court decided not to review the Nies v. Emerald Isle case, thereby maintaining the NC Court of Appeals' November 2015 decision that affirmed the public's historical right to use the full width of the beach strand in North Carolina. The Nies' attorneys, backed by the Pacific Legal Foundation, a California-based organization, have now petitioned the US Supreme Court to review the NC courts' ruling.  A copy of the petition is posted at  The Town's attorneys will submit a response to this petition soon, and the Town will provide additional updates about this case as it evolves. 

Posted by Rhonda Ferebee Tuesday, May 2, 2017 9:36:00 AM

Bogue Inlet Navigation Dredging Completed 


The US Army Corps of Engineers recently completed needed navigation dredging in Bogue Inlet, both through the connecting channel and across the ocean bar.  In an effort to follow the deepest water and most efficient route, and also to promote a stable channel location away from The Point, the official navigation channel has been shifted to a more central alignment.  The US Coast Guard is expected to reset the aids to navigation in early May to more clearly delineate the channel, thereby providing a safer navigation route for area boaters. 

Recent dredging efforts were funded by a combination of State and local funds, and performed by the Corps of Engineers under a memorandum of agreement.  In the absence of Federal funds, the Town of Emerald Isle provided local funding, along with Carteret County, Cape Carteret, Cedar Point, Swansboro, and Onslow County.  

Posted by Rhonda Ferebee Tuesday, May 2, 2017 9:35:00 AM
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