Safety suggestions from Marines to the public for Browns Island

CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. (WITN) – Camp Lejeune hosted a tour on Thursday to educate the public about safety on military property like Browns Island.

Browns Island is located on the northern side of Camp Lejeune. The tour of Browns Island was an opportunity for Marines to talk about the dangers the public may face if they stay at the intracoastal waterway for too long.

“The island has been used since 1941 as a direct fire impact area, aerial gunnery and naval gunfire,” said Sgt. Jacob Mierkowski, the Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) technician for the Marine Corps.

However, it is not just the generic public that should be on alert, but boaters too.

“At any given time,” said Sgt. Mierkowski, “You may find large diameter projectile, bombs, rockets, anything we use currently. Those are hazardous for anyone who doesn’t know what they are doing.”

Training happens often in the intracoastal, which means while training takes place the intracoastal is closed. If the public is caught there at that time, there will be consequences.

“It is trespassing on federal property,” said Sgt. Mierkowski. “That could lead to heavy fines.”

The military wants to ensure the safety of the community and themselves during training exercises. When it comes to severe weather like hurricanes, items may arise.

“There’s no telling how much may be there,” said Maj. Ryan Powers. “They do regular sweeps and patrols, but any time a hurricane or storm could unearth stuff, which can pose a danger to people. Folks just need to stay away from Browns Island.”

Both Sgt. Mierkowski and Maj. Powers asks that if you come across a bomb, rocket or other explosive to call Camp Lejeune so they can take care of it as soon as possible. The surrounding area of the island is open to the public, just not while training takes place.