Virginia teen dies when hole dug in the sand collapses on Outer Banks beach

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Signage showing Cape Hatteras, a cape located at a pronounced bend in Hatteras Island, one of the barrier islands of North Carolina. (Picasa 2.6)

A Virginia teen died on the Outer Banks in North Carolina on Saturday after a hole dug in the sand collapsed a dune and trapped him underneath.

The collapse happened about 2 p.m. in Frisco, Cape Hatteras National Seashore officials said in a release.

Family and friends went looking for the 17-year-old Chesapeake boy before finding him buried under several feet of sand in a hole dug on a back dune behind the primary dune. The back dune was not visible from the beachfront. Portions of the adjacent dune had collapsed into the hole, the release said.

Rangers worked with family members to extract the teen while performing CPR. Dare County medics and Hatteras Island Ocean Rescue staff assisted with pulling the teen from the hole and attempting life-saving measures.

Last year, Outer Banks officials launched a safety campaign about the dangers of digging holes in the sand after a teen died in a hole collapse on the New Jersey shore.

Holes on the beach also pose a hazard to ocean rescuers, who must navigate quickly to save lives, and to local residents who commute on the 4×4 beaches of the Currituck Outer Banks.

In addition to the danger they pose to humans, holes in the sand can be deadly to sea turtle nestlings, who may get trapped when they hatch. Sea turtle nesting season along the Outer Banks runs from May through August.

“Cape Hatteras National Seashore offers our condolences to his family and friends,” seashore superintendent David Hallac said in the release. “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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