Access to NC’s new island reopened after World War II ordnance removed from beach

Officials have warned of possible encounters with sharks, stingrays, rip currents and even old fishing hooks for people visiting Shelly Island, the newest addition to North Carolina’s Outer Banks.

Friday brought a new potential threat that led to the island’s evacuation – a suspected military device.

The unidentified object that washed up on Shelly’s shore was reported about 8:15 a.m. Friday, according to TV station WAVY, prompting authorities to close the Cape Point area and adjacent island.

A Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) team from Little Creek, Va., was dispatched and determined the unidentified object was a World War II era training ordnance. The item was removed and transported to Virginia for further examination and disposal.

Once the all clear was given the Cape Hatteras National Seashore (Seashore) was reopened to off-road vehicle and pedestrian access to the Cape Point.

Outer Banks Group Superintendent David Hallac said, “the National Park Service appreciates the U.S. Navy’s and U.S. Coast Guard’s role in keeping park visitors and nearby vessels safely away from the unidentified item while it was being examined and removed by the EOD unit. We also appreciate our partnerships with the Dare County Sheriff's office, Hatteras Island Rescue Squad, and N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission in keeping everyone safe.”

Shelly Island, which is really a sandbar, has grown in popularity since forming off the tip of Hatteras Island’s Cape Point sometime in the spring.

The island is about a mile long, 500 feet wide and still growing.