EVANSVILLE, Ind (WEHT) – After about a week- the Tri-State camper caper may be coming to a close. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has issued a notice of violation to the party responsible for placing a camper trailer on a sandbar on the Ohio River and advised them to immediately remove the trailer and other materials and place it in uplands where it does not have the potential to impede safe navigation as river levels rise.
Henderson City/County Rescue Squad chief Bryan Coghill said people seemed to enjoy the mysterious camper but there are regulations for waterways like the Ohio River for a reason, even if some people may not be familiar with them.
The Corps said information during a site inspection indicated the camper trailer, along with a table, generator and other materials was unlawfully placed on the sandbar in the Ohio River on or about July 20. The Corps said the alleged responsible party had been advised that the placement of the camper trailer and other materials is a violation of federal law and that failure to resolve the violation in a timely manner may result in referral to the U.S. Attorney, which may result in federal prosecution and potential criminal penalties including fines and imprisonment.
The Corps says federal law prohibits the placing of any structure in, under or over navigable waters of the United States without a permit, and no permit was issued for the camper.
It’s still unclear if the camper will be removed before higher river levels erase the sandbar sometime Friday, but Coghill says they’ll be prepared either way and keep a plan in place in case they need to perform a rescue in the area around the sandbar.
Coghill wouldn’t delve into the theories surrounding who placed the camper there, but says whoever did it “all in good fun, just to create a little news story.” He also says that the camper serves as a good reminder for boaters to watch out for debris in the water- be it a tree limb or a camper.
You can view the camper on our Tower Cameras page here.