THURSDAY 8:00 P.M. UPDATE:
After careful examination, a U.S. Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) unit from Norfolk, Virginia, confirmed that the object discovered in Buxton this morning is a live military ordnance.
The U.S. Navy EOD unit has placed the unexploded ordnance, described as a 100-pound aerial bomb from the World War II era, deep inside the beach near the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Beach Access parking area.
At around 9:00 a.m. tomorrow morning, October 23, the unit will detonate the ordnance in place. No damage to nearby structures is expected, however, Buxton residents and visitors may hear the detonation. Due to the sound,the detonation may make during the early morning hours, Dare County plans to send out a mass phone notification warning to all nearby residents and visitors at 8:30 a.m. tomorrow.
A potential unexploded ordnance was found on a Buxton beach on Thursday morning, and is in the process of being examined and safely removed from the shoreline by authorities, per multiple reports.
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.
Additional representatives from the National Park Service and Sheriff’s Office arrived soon after, and the U.S. Navy’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) Unit from Norfolk, V.A., is currently on its way to examine and remove the ordnance. They are expected to arrive at 3:30 p.m.
“It was just a normal day before that happened, and I was surprised that no one else [on the beach] saw it before I did,” she said.
- 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
This is not the first time a potential unexploded ordnance has washed ashore on Hatteras Island. The Outer Banks played a key role in World War II, as German U-Boats lurked just off the coast, earning the area the nickname of “Torpedo Junction.”
In the summer and fall of 2017, unexploded ordnances washed ashore in Avon, at the edge of Hatteras Inlet, and in Buxton on the temporary “Shelly Island” – a sandbar that formed for the summer season just off of Cape Point.
All previous ordnances were safely removed after authorities, (and namely representatives from the U.S. Navy’s EOD Unit), removed the objects from the shoreline.