Outer Banks officials issue warnings against swimming to newly formed island

DARE, NC (WVEC) -- The National Park Service and Dare County are urging people, visiting a new island in the Outer Banks, to use caution when trying to get onto the large sandbar. 

The new island formed over several months off the coast of Cape Point near the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. It is a mile long and three football fields wide, according to The Virginian Pilot.

Word of the island's formation went viral online, prompting people to come visit it. 

 

Cape Hatteras point and the new sandbar island #capepoint

A post shared by 🅲🅷🅰🅳 (@chadonka) on

According to a press release from Cape Hatteras officials, recent water rescues by the Hatteras Island Rescue Squad near the sandbar has caused the National Park Service and Dare County to urge visitors use caution.  

The Cape Point area is known for its constant change through both erosion and accretion of sand, and the currents between there and the sandbar can be very strong. 

Visitors are asked not to swim or wade in, or near, those areas. 

"Traveling to the sandbar is best accomplished by experienced kayakers or paddle boarders that are using appropriate flotation and mindful of the tides and strong currents in the area," said Seashore Superintendent David Hallac. 

If you wish to swim, officials ask that visitors go to life guarded beaches, such as Coquina Beach, Hatteras Lighthouse Beach, and Ocracoke Day Use Area Beach. 

© 2017 WVEC-TV


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