News Release

Teenager dies when hole and dune collapse at Cape Hatteras National Seashore in Frisco, North Carolina

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Date: May 6, 2023
Contact: Mike Barber, 252-270-5389

MANTEO, N.C. — An 18-year-old male from Chesapeake, Virginia died today as a result of being trapped under several feet of sand at Cape Hatteras National Seashore (Seashore) in Frisco, North Carolina.

At approximately 2 p.m., Seashore law enforcement rangers responded to a 911 call regarding a teenager trapped in a hole, approximately 0.10 mile east of off-road vehicle ramp 49 in Frisco. Preliminary findings from an investigation indicate the teen dug the deep hole in a back-dune area behind the primary dune and not visible from the beachfront.

Prior to arriving on scene, family and friends went looking for the teenager and found him buried under several feet of sand, apparently caused by portions of the adjacent dune collapsing into the hole. Rangers worked with family members to extract the teen while simultaneously performing CPR. Dare County Emergency Medical Services personnel and Hatteras Island Ocean Rescue staff assisted with extracting the teenager from the hole and administering CPR. Unfortunately, resuscitation efforts were not successful. The incident is under investigation.

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

On May 9, 2023, the following changes were made to the news release:

  • Age of victim was corrected
  • Added more specific info about the hole

These changes were made after reviewing preliminary findings from the incident investigation. Additional details are not available.

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Contact Info

Mailing Address:

Cape Hatteras National Seashore
1401 National Park Drive

Manteo, NC 27954


252 473-2111

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