Cape Hatteras officials urge consideration after dangerous hole found in the beach

Visitors reported this large hole in Avon to park rangers. [NPS photo]

Cape Hatteras National Seashore is urging visitors to observe the principles of “Leave No Trace” after finding a large hole dug on the beach in Avon Thursday night.

“Leaving such a large hole in the beach can lead to serious visitor injuries, damage to emergency response vehicles, delays in responding to swimming-related emergencies, and could prevent sea turtle hatchlings from making it safely to the ocean,” the park service said in a Facebook post.

Earlier this summer, a young person had to be freed by rescue workers after becoming trapped in a hole dug on the beach in Kill Devil Hills.

And in 2017, a Texas woman vacationing with her family in Ocean City, Maryland, died after falling in a hole dug on the beach. Ashley O’Connor, authorities say, was walking on the beach and apparently fell in the hole during the night. It collapsed around her and she was smothered, her body found the next morning.

“We appreciate the concerned visitors who reported this large hole to our staff,” the park service said. “If they had not reported it, the hole may have filled with the recent rain water and created additional hazards to children and adults walking along the beach. Thank you to those who helped fill the hole back in so nobody got hurt!”

The seven principles of Leave No Trace were established by the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, and built on work by the US Forest Service, National Park Service, and Bureau of Land Management in the mid 1980s. The principles include:

  • Plan Ahead and Prepare
  • Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
  • Dispose of Waste Properly
  • Leave What You Find
  • Respect Wildlife
  • Be Considerate of Other Visitors
  • Minimize Campfire Impacts

This story originally appeared on OBXToday.com. Read More local stories here.