Emerald Isle, North Carolina was the scene of a solemn demonstration. An alleged retired US Navy Sailor stood in the ocean to protest the recent beach closure. The unidentified man was in full Navy dress uniform and had a sign that read “Land of the Free” posted in front of him. As he stood in calf-deep water, waves splashed up to his knees.
However, this action was against the city’s ordinance of limiting access to the beach. The purpose being to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus. Police arrived shortly after the man took to the water. His steadfast resolve was apparent when he refused police instruction to leave. Although, Department of Defense policy states the uniform is not to be used for political protest. Onlookers claim the man was wearing the uniform of a Navy Chief. Nevertheless, the protest drew a small crowd.
The saga continues
The tense standoff continued while onlookers watched. The average water temperature in Emerald Isle is 60º for April. Despite battling potential hypothermia and most certainly ruining his dress shoes, the peaceful demonstration endured. Eventually, the man left on his own accord. There were no arrests and force was not used. The Emerald Isle Police Department did not issue a statement following the incident. The unidentified man has not made a public statement either.
Surprisingly, the town of Emerald Isle announced they would be lifting the ban on beach access. This was done hours after this incident occurred at the beach.
“Emerald Isle residents and property owners will be able to access the Atlantic Ocean for normal activities, including swimming, surfing, kiting, kayaking, and fishing,” the town of Emerald Isle said in a statement on Facebook. Additionally, the statement reads, “The Town of Emerald Isle stresses that tourist travel to the area remains highly discouraged. All public parking areas, restrooms, and playgrounds in Emerald Isle remain closed.”
The city has also placed restrictions on rental units. Furthermore, the county has had 24 cases of COVID-19, according to local news sources. Unfortunately, there have also been two deaths.
What do you think of this man’s action? Should he have been in uniform? How much will the dry cleaning be? Also, if you spot any crazy occurrences, safely take pictures and send us the story.