July 14, 2017

Shelly Island Evacuated Due to Discovery of Unidentified Military Device


At around 8 a.m. on Friday, a member of the Hatteras Island Rescue Squad who was fishing on Shelly Island in Buxton reported finding an unidentified military device that was washed ashore.

Shelly Island was evacuated soon after the discovery, so that the object – which could potentially be an old, unexploded ordnance - could be identified.

 “It has definitely been in the ocean for a very long time,” said Chief Jack Scarborough of the Hatteras Island Rescue Squad.  

“It’s barnacle encrusted and could possibly be an unexploded ordnance,” said Dorothy Hester, Coordinator and Public Information Officer for Dare County. “They are restricting access to the sandbar at this point.”

The morning evacuation proceeded without incident, and Shelly Island will remain evacuated until the object can be identified.

 “Our staff is working with Dare County, and we are having visitors not go over there at the moment until it is determined what it is,” said Michael Barber of the National Park Service.

Navy and Marine Corp Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Technicians from Virginia were on their way to the site to examine the object further, per Scarborough. Representatives from the Hatteras Island Rescue Squad, the National Park Service, Dare County Emergency Management, the US Coast Guard and local fire departments were also responding to the incident.

The EOD Technicians are expected to arrive at the site on Friday afternoon.

“We won’t know more until they get there this afternoon,” said Scarborough.

“It may not even be recognizable as far as what it used to be – [we] are just being cautious,” said Barber. 

UPDATE:  Shelly Island Evacuated Due to Discovery of Unidentified Military Device

The Point and all areas within one mile of the unidentified military device found on Friday morning has been temporarily closed off to allow the Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Team from Virginia to examine the object. As of 2:30 p.m., the team was en route and was expected to arrive at the site shortly.

The Island Free Press will continue to post updates on this story as soon as they are available.

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