Keep us, and your neighbors, in the know.
- News tips
- Community Events
- Become a blogger
- Submit a story
NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) – Many might agree that there's safety in numbers, and for folks living in an area surrounded by a nearby state port, nuclear plant and city waterfronts, the New Hanover County Sheriff's Office says the more patrol units, the better.
Now, with some help from federal officials, an extremely beneficial boat belongs to the sheriff's office, which is starting the Cape Fear Maritime Task Force.
From the outside, the boat looks like 25 feet of aluminum, but one step inside guarantees that it's a whole new world.
At a price of nearly $230,000, Lt. Matt Payne says the boat was worth every penny.
"It's already proven its value just in the recovery of victims to help families have closure and to reduce the manpower," he said.
The boat efficiently helps thanks t the latest sonar and radar technology -- something that is a must for local waters.
WECT's cameras got a sneak peak at the new gadgets, but much of what was seen remains top secret to the public, because the sheriff's office was forced to pay out-of-pocket for the water vessels. Now, the federal government is washing away those budget woes with the Homeland Security Port Security Grant and helping to beef up local patrols and state port security.
Once they got the OK from the feds, it was full steam ahead on decking the watercraft out with all the necessities. Things like dive doors and even heating and air conditioning are amenities that are new to the crew that make it possible to guard local waterways all year long.
Additionally, the Brunswick County Sheriff's Office has received the same grant and the same boat, and the City of Wilmington is a part of the taskforce to help protect the waters and state port.
Copyright 2012 WECT. All rights reserved.