County sheriff's office and state coastal agency remind visitors to act responsibly on July Fourth holiday at Masonboro Island


The New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office and the state’s coastal management agency are urging the public to act responsibly this weekend during the July Fourth holiday at the Masonboro Island Reserve.

For the 2016 holiday weekend, the state coastal agency and the sheriff’s office have worked together to provide for public safety and increase public awareness of responsible visitor behavior on the island. In particular, the agencies would like to remind visitors to the island not to attempt the very dangerous swim across Masonboro Inlet.

“Visitor safety is our number one priority at Masonboro Island during the July Fourth holiday,” said the state’s coastal agency director, Braxton Davis. “I’m confident our continued partnership with the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office along with law enforcement presence on the island and on the water will again deter illegal activities and help protect individuals.”

In past years, unofficial Fourth of July parties on the island have resulted in a growing number of arrests for underage drinking and fighting, along with boating violations, accidents and injuries. An increased law enforcement presence during recent years, along with public outreach prior to the holiday, has helped to significantly decrease potentially dangerous behavior at the event. 

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