Screenshot from Brett Barley video from Buxton as the Navy detonated a device found on the beach. Photo courtesy of OBX Today

From our news sources

The Explosive Ordnance Disposal Detachment Norfolk from Naval Station Norfolk Friday successfully detonated a WWII-era bomb on the Buxton beach shortly after 12:30 p.m.

The three-person team reported that the concussion, set off by a combination of explosives, made a dull thud and sent up a 60-foot plume of smoke and sand around 12:30 p.m.

The U.S. Navy EOD unit had buried the unexploded 100-pound aerial bomb from the World War II era deep in the beach near the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Beach Access parking area.

Cape Hatteras National Seashore maintenance staff worked to cover the hole. The perimeter was removed and all areas of the beach have reopened.

“Cape Hatteras National Seashore appreciates the significant efforts and expertise provided by U.S. Navy EOD Detachment Norfolk,” said 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 Friday morning, but a large fire in Buxton delayed that plan. 

View a video of the detonation here, courtesy of OBX Today.

The Island Free Press reported earlier that 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.

Some beach visitors got a little too up close and personal with what turned out to be a still live World War II-era bomb. Photo by Pam Smith Murray photo, courtesy of OBX Today

“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.

This is not the first time a potential unexploded ordnance has washed ashore on Hatteras Island. The Outer Banks played a key role in World War II, as German U-Boats lurked just off the coast, earning the area the nickname of “Torpedo Junction.”

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