Officials warn about accessing new island off Cape Hatteras

Photo courtesy Chad Koczera, @chadonka/Instagram via WAVY/WNCT

BUXTON, N.C. (AP) — So many people have been rescued from a new island off North Carolina’s Outer Banks that officials have issued warnings about accessing it.

Cape Hatteras National Seashore and emergency officials are urging visitors to use kayaks or paddle boards to reach the island off Cape Point instead of swimming or wading to the island, which formed in recent months.

An abundance of shells is attracting people to the island despite the strong currents and the presence of sharks and stingrays.

The assistant chief of the Hatteras Island Rescue Squad says rescuers recently picked up five people while bystanders with kayaks have saved others. Bob Helle warns that while it might be easy to cross at low tide, it’s more difficult to return at high tide.

This is a developing story. Stay with 8News online and on air for the latest updates.

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