Could ‘Shelly Island II’ be trying to form off the Outer Banks?

A composite of two images taken through a spotting scope of the sand bar off Cape Point. [photos courtesy National Park Service]

Could Shelly Island II be trying to form off the tip of Cape Hatteras? And a scallop trawler that ran aground in Oregon Inlet is now fully on the beach.

According to a post on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore Facebook page, beachgoers spotted a sandbar off the southern side of Cape Point on Sunday.

The sandbar is visible in the hours near low tide, but then it disappears under the water with high tide, according to National Park Service spokesperson Mike Barber.

Sandbars have come and gone in the turbulent waters off Hatteras Island for thousands of years. The most recent occurrence in the spring of 2017 grew to almost 27 acres and became an international sensation.

It even produced what was likely a World War II-era bomb from the Battle of the Atlantic.

Shelly Island, which drew thousands of visitors to America’s first National Seashore, eventually connected with Cape Point and “disappeared” by the end of the summer.

Visitors are advised not to try to reach the sandbar due to the deep, cold water and dangerously strong currents off Cape Point.

Barber said park staff will keep an eye on the sandbar to see if it survives the storm system moving across the area on Monday.

F/V Ocean Pursuit sits fully beached north of Oregon Inlet on April 12, 2020. [photo courtesy National Park Service]

Farther to the north at Oregon Inlet, the F/V Ocean Pursuit, which is also known as Cameron Scott, has fully come ashore.

The crew of the trawler was trying to reach Morehead City on March 1 when they suffered engine trouble and ran aground in the breakers about 1/2 mile south of Ramp 4.

The sands of Bodie Island Spit have now surrounded the steel-hulled ship, and the Park Service advises everyone to stay off the wreck for your own safety.

Owners of the vessel have been working with the U.S. Coast Guard on a plan to salvage the wreck, but the consistent bad weather of the last six weeks has hampered their efforts.

The wreck can only be reached by pedestrians on foot, because it is 0.3 miles inside the seasonal off-road vehicle closure that went in place on March 15.

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