The U.S. Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit from Norfolk, Virginia this afternoon detonated a World War II era live military ordnance found on the beach at Cape Hatteras National Seashore Thursday.
The three-person EOD team reported that there was a dull thud and sand tossed into the air approximately 60 feet. They used a combination of explosives including C-4.
Seashore maintenance staff are working to cover the hole. The perimeter was removed and all areas have reopened.
“Cape Hatteras National Seashore appreciates the significant efforts and expertise provided by U.S. Navy EOD Detachment Norfolk,” stated David Hallac, Superintendent, National Parks of Eastern North Carolina. “Their immediate response helped protect visitors and nearby structures.”
The Navy had originally planned to detonate the device on the beach this morning, but a large fire in Buxton delayed that plan.
The U.S. Navy EOD unit placed the unexploded ordnance, described as a 100-pound aerial bomb from the World War II era, deep inside the beach near the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Beach Access parking area. The detonation caused a concussion and sent up a plume of smoke around 12:30 p.m.
The Island Free Press reported Hatteras Island resident Michele Quidley was walking her dog near the Old Cape Hatteras Lighthouse site and Buxton Beach Day Use Area when her dog noticed an object high on the shoreline.
“When we reached it, I thought it was a log,” she said, “but then I realized it was made out of metal.”
When Quidley got a little closer and saw the unusual tail at the end of the object, (which resembled the end of an ordnance or torpedo), she called the authorities and stayed near the site until they arrived.
“I was worried about just leaving it there, because there are a lot of visitors on the beach, and I didn’t want kids to play with it, or someone to accidentally pick it up and take it home as a souvenir,” she said.
She called the National Park Service, and then reached out to the Dare County Sheriff’s Office dispatch center, noting that John Conner of the Buxton Volunteer Fire Department was the first to arrive at the scene.