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Virginia Teen Dies From Sand Hole Collapse In North Carolina




In this image provided by the Town of Kill Devil Hills, N.C., David Elder, ocean rescue supervisor for Kill Devil Hills, N.C, stands in a hole he estimates to be 7 feet deep on May 15, 2022. Authorities in coastal North Carolina are investigating the death of a teenager who became trapped in a hole that was dug in the sand on Saturday May 6, 2023. It is the latest fatality from the scourge of sand holes that continues to claim young people’s lives. (Town of Kill Devil Hills via AP)

MANTEO, N.C. (NPS) — A 17-year-old male from Chesapeake, Virginia died Saturday as a result of being trapped under several feet of sand at Cape Hatteras National Seashore (Seashore) in Frisco, North Carolina.

At approximately 2 p.m., Seashore law enforcement rangers responded to a 911 call regarding a teenager trapped in a hole, approximately 0.10 mile east of off-road vehicle ramp 49 in Frisco. The hole was dug in a back-dune area behind the primary dune and not visible from the beachfront.

Prior to arriving on scene, family and friends went looking for the teenager and found him buried under several feet of sand, apparently caused by portions of the adjacent dune collapsing into the hole. Rangers worked with family members to extract the teen while simultaneously performing CPR. Dare County Emergency Medical Services personnel and Hatteras Island Ocean Rescue staff assisted with extracting the teenager from the hole and administering CPR. Unfortunately, resuscitation efforts were not successful. The incident is under investigation.

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“Cape Hatteras National Seashore offers our condolences to his family and friends,” said David Hallac, superintendent, National Parks of Eastern North Carolina. “We urge visitors not to dig deep holes on the beach due to the danger they present to beachgoers and emergency response staff.”

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