Virginia teen dies after hole, sand dune collapse on him at Cape Hatteras National Seashore in NC


A 17-year-old Virginia boy died Saturday when a sand dune collapsed at Cape Hatteras National Seashore in North Carolina, burying him under several feet of sand inside a hole that had been dug, officials said.

Rangers responded around 2 p.m. to a 911 call about a teenager trapped in a hole near the off-road vehicle ramp 49 in Frisco, the National Park Service said in a statement.

Family and friends had been looking for the teen when they found him buried in the hole and called for help, officials said. 

It appeared that portions of an adjacent sand dune collapsed into the hole, which was dug in a back-dune area behind the primary dune and not visible from the beachfront, according to the agency.

Rangers and family worked to dig the teen out from the sand while simultaneously performing CPR, officials said.

Dare County Emergency Medical Services personnel and Hatteras Island Ocean Rescue staff helped to bring the boy out from the hole and conduct life-saving measures.

First responders were unable to resuscitate the teen, who has not been publicly identified. The incident remains under investigation.

Authorities advised visitors of the dangers of digging holes on the beach following the teen’s death.

“Cape Hatteras National Seashore offers our condolences to his family and friends,” said David Hallac, superintendent of the National Parks of Eastern North Carolina. “We urge visitors not to dig deep holes on the beach due to the danger they present to beachgoers and emergency response staff.”

Cape Hatteras National Seashore is located on the Outer Banks, stretching more than 70 miles from South Nags Head to Ocracoke Inlet.

The seashore is popular for camping, fishing, off-road vehicles and other beach activities.