Man remains in isolation off the coast at NC's Frying Pan Tower

Anthony Wilson Image
Sunday, April 19, 2020
Man remains in isolation off the coast at NC's Frying Pan Tower
The Frying Pan Tower is one of North Carolina's most iconic landmarks during severe weather at the coast, but now it is serving as a refuge for a man in isolation.

FRYING PAN TOWER, N.C. (WTVD) -- It's hard enough these days when authorities urge everyone to spend most days and nights at home. But it's even tougher when you're under quarantine.

That's the situation facing Richard Neal as he works about 30 miles off the North Carolina coast, inside the Frying Pan Tower. That's the decommissioned lighthouse where media show live pictures of a storm-battered American flag during severe weather.

He retrieves those flags when the winds die down, he says, "Some of which you'll probably see hanging on the walls around here that have flown on the tower."

So, why is he quarantined?:

"Just because the company that I work for sent all of their workers home. And because of our fantastic internet connection, we shoot to shore and I can do my remote work, 9 to 5 out here, just the same as if I'm sitting in my apartment" back home in Charlotte, he said.

Like most of us, he looks forward to a return of normal routines once the danger of possible exposure to COVID-19 is over.


"I think most folks are a little stir crazy right now, so I think we're gonna do it differently. We're not gonna go out there and just give everyone big slaps on the backs and hugs. Probably still maintain some distance and wear our masks for safety, where we need to," said Neal.

Until then, authorities advise everyone to continue to observe social distancing.