North Carolina Beach Town Issued Hole Digging Warning Just Hours Before Teen Killed in New Jersey

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Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina is a beach town along the state’s Outer Banks network of barrier islands and in many ways, it is very similar to the Toms River beach where a teenage boy was killed after a hole he was digging with his sister collapsed around them.

Just hours before tragedy struck in Toms River, New Jersey on Tuesday, Kill Devil Hills rescue supervisor David Elder issued a dire warning to beachgoers about the dangers of digging holes at the beach. The town posted a photo of Elder standing inside a deep hole on the beach to demonstrate how dangerous the activity is after beachgoers dug the massive pit and left it.

“Why is our Ocean Rescue Supervisor standing in a large hole with a frustrated look on his face, you may ask? Because someone decided to dig a massive hole on our beach and leave it unattended,” the town said. “I guess we need to say it a little louder for the people in the back, digging holes on the beach and leaving them unattended is extremely dangerous.”

According to Elder, beachgoers are more likely to die in a hole they dug on the beach than they are from being attacked and killed by a shark.

“No one goes to the beach thinking that they will leave with a broken ankle or worse. Unattended holes can cause numerous injuries to other beach-goers,” Elder said. “Holes make it challenging for first responders to quickly get to an emergency on the beach. They can also cause damage to their vehicles.”

“Digging holes in the sand can be a serious hazard. If you want to dig a hole on the beach, ONLY dig shallow holes and ALWAYS fill them in once you’re finished. Help keep everyone on our beaches safe,” he added.

Later that day, tragedy struck at the Jersey Shore. Now officials in Toms River are saying a sinkhole may have contributed to the death of the Maine teen.

Related: Officials Say Sinkhole Swallowed Teen Who Died at Toms River Beach Caused by Unstable Sand