North Carolina’s mysterious new island has become even more mysterious.
Media outlets were reporting Friday that Shelly Island off the coast of Dare County was evacuated due to a possible unexploded Navy ordnance that was discovered washed ashore Friday morning.
Hatteras Island Rescue Squad confirmed to TV station WNCN that the emergency call came in at 8:15 a.m., prompting the evacuation. The National Park Service, Dare County Emergency Management, the U.S. Coast Guard are also on scene, WNCN reported.
Dare County spokeswoman Dorothy Hester told TV station WITN a Navy Explosive Ordinance Detachment Group from Little Creek, Virginia is being sent to the island to examine the object. In the meantime, Hatteras Island Rescue and National Park Service rangers are keeping people off the island for their own safety, the station reported.
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Emergency crews were keeping people a minimum of a mile away from the object, reported TV station WRAL. The evacuation area included part of Cape Hatteras National Seashore in the Cape Point area, the station reported.
Dare County Emergency management released photos of the discovery, showing it to be long, black and heavily encrusted with marine growth.
The island appeared in April and has continued to grow. It is separated from Hatteras Island by a few hundred feet of water that is 5 feet deep at low tide. However, at high tide, the channel is much deeper, with a swift current, and is reportedly popular with sharks and sting rays.