Cape Hatteras National Seashore continues to urge visitors to use caution and to be mindful of tides when attempting to access the sandbar, commonly referred to as Shelly Island, near the tip of Cape Point in Buxton, North Carolina. Due to larger swells, higher tides, and increased rip current threats from recent weather events, there have been ocean rescues and swimmers in distress between Cape Point and the sandbar.
The Cape Point area is a highly dynamic location that is constantly changing through both erosion and accretion of sand. If attempting to reach the sandbar near Cape Point, visitors should be aware that the ocean water level is no longer ankle deep at low tide. At high tide, appropriate flotation is needed to safely cross the channel between Cape Point and the sandbar. Currents in the channel can be strong; therefore, Cape Hatteras National Seashore does not recommend that visitors swim or wade through it.