Vessel Groundings

Historically, the waters surrounding Cape Hatteras National Seashore and the associated inlets into Pamlico Sound can be treacherous for mariners. Known historically as “The Graveyard of the Atlantic” the water and weather conditions are constantly changing, making navigation challenging for mariners both past and present. Even with the advent of modern technology and accurate mapping, it is always possible for vessels to become grounded, or beached at Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

The National Park Service works collaboratively with the United States Coast Guard and boat owners during each grounding to ensure that grounded vessels are removed as quickly and safely as possible while protecting natural resources and ecosystems.

There are currently 0 grounded vessels at Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

See below for brief information about most recent vessel groundings and visit our Flickr page to view an assortment of photos.

 
A vessel firmly resting on the beach, waiting to be removed.
Vivens Aqua sits grounded on beach near Ocracoke Inlet on January 28, 2022.

NPS photo

Vivens Aqua (2022)

Vessel removed on Wednesday, February 9, 2022

On January 25, 2022, a 55-foot-long vessel named the Vivens Aqua, registered in Maryland, grounded on the beach near Ocracoke Inlet. Both passengers on the vessel made it safety to shore.

The National Park Service initially issued a special use permit to the boat's owner for removal directly over water. Unfortunately, those efforts failed, which led to a decision to remove all fuel oil from the vessel.

Another special use permit was issued to the boat's owner and his salvage contractor on February 3 for removal attempts across the beach and into the Pamlico Sound. The Vivens Aqua was successfully removed via the Pamlico Sound at around 12:30 p.m. on February 9, 2022.

 
White vessel grounded on the beach.
Vessel named the Reel Lucky on February 3, 2022.

NPS photo

Reel Lucky (2022)

Vessel removed on Friday, February 4, 2022

On the evening of February 2, 2022, a 35-foot-long vessel named Reel Lucky, registered in New Jersey, grounded on the beach near the north side of Oregon Inlet. Two passengers on the Reel Lucky made it safely to shore.

After a special use permit was issued on February 3, heavy equipment was used to drag the vessel across the beach to ORV Ramp 4, where it was later picked up and placed on a trailer.

At around 5:30 p.m. on February 4, 2022, the Reel Lucky was removed from Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

 
Two vessels grounded on the beach.
Pictured, from left, Reel Lucky and Bite Me sit grounded on the beach near Oregon Inlet on February 3, 2022.

NPS photo

Bite Me (2022)

Vessel removed on Friday, February 4, 2022

A 32-foot-long vessel named Bite Me, registered in Pennsylvania, grounded on the beach near the north side of Oregon Inlet around the same time as the Reel Lucky grounding, on the evening of February 2, 2022. Three passengers aboard the Bite Me made it safely to the beach.

The Bite Me and Reel Lucky reportedly bumped into each other a few times during the grounding incident.

The National Park Service issued a special use permit to the owner of the Bite Me for removal operations on February 3. The Bite Me was lifted and placed on a trailer before being removed from Cape Hatteras National Seashore at around 2 p.m. on February 4, 2022.

 
A sailboat sits grounded with a fishing pier in background.
Grounded sailing vessel named the Alhambra on Dec. 11, 2021.

National Park Service photo

Alhambra (2021)

Vessel removed on Wednesday, December 15, 2021


On the morning of December 11, 2021, a 37-foot-long sailing vessel named the Alhambra safely grounded just north of Cape Hatteras National Seashore's Avon Fishing Pier in Avon, N.C.

With help from a contractor, the Alhambra sailed away from the beach on December 15, 2021.

 
Grounded red and white vessel near the beach.
Jonathan Ryan on the morning of November 29, 2021.

National Park Service photo

Jonathan Ryan (2021)

Vessel removed on Monday, November 29, 2021

On November 29, 2021, a commercial fishing vessel named the Jonathan Ryan grounded near off-road vehicle ramp 48, approximately 1.25 miles southeast of the Frisco Campground.

Thanks to the quick response by the U.S. Coast Guard and the vessel's owner and crew, the shrimp trawler departed Cape Hatteras National Seashore the same day it grounded.

Last updated: February 9, 2022

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Manteo , NC 27954

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252 473-2111

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