Digging holes on beachfront can be dangerous for people and marine life

KURE BEACH, NC (WWAY) – With the official summer season fast approaching – beaches will be filled with people taking in the sun and the sand, but there is one activity could prove dangerous – holes in the sand.

Dana shepherd came to Kure Beach from Salisbury with her family.

“We’ve seen some big ones before, a few feet deep, and we were kind of afraid people would fall in them,” she said. “I haven’t myself, but I’ve heard of some people getting hurt in the holes. “

Not only hurt, but killed, which is what happened this week in New Jersey, when a hole caved in on two teenagers, one died in that accident.

Jennifer Esquitin spoke to her neighbor about the deadly accident before heading to the beach from Raleigh.

“She’s like oh, these teenagers were playing around and dug a big hole and it collapse on them,” she said.

Something, Esquitin would have never thought could happen.

“I use to do that with my children, but it never went to the extreme of making a big hole,” she said.

Many kids and adults dig holes; the issue is –  the depth of the hole that’s what makes the hole dangerous.

Chanice Mary Fields took a trip to beach from Fayetteville with her son and nephew, who put dirt over themselves.

“He (her son)  literally jumped up because it wasn’t that deep, they put it on top of themselves and that was it.

Digging holes without filling them back poses other dangers, according to Kure Beach Ocean Rescue Director JD Lanier.

“We have sea turtles out here and if they get into a hole, that’s another big issue that we have,” he said.

It’s that time of year where first responders patrol the beaches later in the evening and holes left on the beach can impede them from doing their jobs – or worst.

“It’s very dangerous, there’s a dune, and you don’t see that hole,” he said. “You know someone is going to be extremely injured at that point.”

According to Lanier, beach safety starts with education – something Shepherd is teaching her grandkids.

“Someone who digs a hole needs to fill them back in,” she said.

Those who plan on digging a hole in the sand should not dig past their knees, according to officials.

Those who do dig a hole should fill it in immediately to its original condition before leaving the beach, or face a one-hundred dollars fine, according to the Kure Beach Town’s beach ordinance.

The Kure Beach ordinance page can be found by clicking here.

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