Shoaling is occurring at the eastern end of Shackleford Banks and South Core Banks. Boaters navigating that area are being asked to exercise caution. Jared Brumbaugh has more.
Sea currents and the shifting sea floor have caused Barden Inlet to reach a shallow depth less than 6 feet. As a result, the U.S. Coast Guard has removed navigational buoys and closed the area as a marked route. Despite signs warning boaters of shoaling, the inlet is still navigable to small boats and skiffs. Acting Superintendent of Cape Lookout National Seashore Jeff West says the shoaling won’t impact ferry service to Shackleford or Cape Lookout.
“The ferry service that’s a national park service concession uses local captains very familiar with the inlet. Not only that, they took the extra precaution of GPSing out there, they spent a day working through the inlet GPSing the best route through there so right now, it’s not going to impact the ferry service.”
West says the channel will continue to be used until it becomes unsafe and impassable. The National Park Service is working with federal, state, and county partners to find a solution to improve Barden Inlet for future navigation.