Navy bomb squad called-in after ‘potential unexploded ordnance’ found on Outer Banks beach

A potential unexploded ordnance was discovered Thursday morning on the beach near the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Beach Access parking area off Buxton.

The Island Free Press reported Hatteras Island resident Michele Quidley was walking her dog near the Old Cape Hatteras Lighthouse site and Buxton Beach Day Use Area when her dog noticed an object high on the shoreline.

“When we reached it, I thought it was a log,” she said, “but then I realized it was made out of metal.”

When Quidley got a little closer and saw the unusual tail at the end of the object, (which resembled the end of an ordnance or torpedo), she called the authorities and stayed near the site until they arrived.

“I was worried about just leaving it there, because there are a lot of visitors on the beach, and I didn’t want kids to play with it, or someone to accidentally pick it up and take it home as a souvenir,” she said.

She called the National Park Service, and then reached out to the Dare County Sheriff’s Office dispatch center, noting that John Conner of the Buxton Volunteer Fire Department was the first to arrive at the scene.

To ensure visitor safety, a safety perimeter measuring approximately a half mile has been established around the object. The following areas are closed until a U.S. Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) unit from Norfolk, Virginia arrives on scene and safety removes the potential UXO.

  • Cape Hatteras Light Station grounds and parking area
  • Old Cape Hatteras Lighthouse parking area and beach
  • Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Beach Access and parking area
  • Buxton Beach Access and parking area

The U.S. Navy EOD unit is expected to arrive on scene around 3:30 p.m.

National Parks of Eastern North Carolina Superintendent David Hallac said, “The discovery of old military devices is not uncommon along the Outer Banks. Cape Hatteras National Seashore visitors should always be on the lookout for beach hazards, especially during and after periods of rough surf.”

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