On March 23, North Carolina Beach Buggy Association (NCBBA) Director Tom Brueckner and his wife, Susan, were participating in a beach clean-up initiative in the Tri-villages to clear the shoreline of debris, when they encountered a giant hole that had been left behind in Waves village.
The hole was 5’ ft. deep, and the couple temporarily abandoned their clean-up efforts in order to fill the hole back in. “With only one shovel, it took my wife and I almost an hour,” stated Tom.
Leaving holes behind on the beach can be dangerous for a myriad of reasons. There have been past reports of people falling into holes and becoming trapped, such as a 2021 incident where a young summertime visitor got stuck in the sand in Kill Devil Hills and was eventually freed by rescuers.
In addition, with beach driving still allowed within the villages until April 15, vehicles can easily get stuck in giant holes, which includes local rescuers responding to emergencies, such as the Chicamacomico Banks Water Rescue team, or the Hatteras Island Rescue Squad.
Big holes can also be hazardous to the local wildlife, and particularly sea turtles who will start to arrive on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore beaches to lay their eggs as the weather heats up.
With all this in mind, beach visitors are reminded to please fill in any large holes that they dig before leaving the beach, in order to keep all seashore users safe.
“Needless to say, the potential for injury to a person or animal and/or damage to a vehicle is substantial when this is left open,” the NCBBA stated in a social media update. “… [The Brueckners] would much rather be cleaning up debris than filling in a hole left by an irresponsible person or party. It’s a severe hazard, a shameful undertaking, and a poor use of our volunteers’ time.”