A potentially dangerous sand “pit” discovered Thursday on Kiawah Island prompted the South Carolina town to demand visitors stop leaving craters behind after their day at the beach.
The Town of Kiawah Island, about 27 miles south of Charleston, posted photos showing a hole big enough to serve as a kiddie pool. It was about two-feet deep and even had steps built into the side for easy entry.
“Fill in your holes before you leave the beach for the day,” officials posted on Facebook. “If a nesting sea turtle had fallen into this pit, she would not have been able to get out and, quite possibly, would have been hurt in the process.”
Metal shovels are not allowed on the town’s beaches, officials added in the post.
The warning comes just one day before the Town of Kiawah Island will end its moratorium against short-term rentals, something put in place to prevent visitors from spreading COVID-19 while gathering on beaches.
The recreational digging of big holes in beaches has become a seasonal craze in both Carolinas, and it has become clear it’s no longer the sport of pre-teens with plastic shovels and pails.
Cape Hatteras National Seashore in North Carolina issued a similar demand against digging holes in August, after rangers found a “trench” near the Outer Banks town of Avon: It was 6-feet wide and 8 feet deep.
The town of Nags Head, also on the Outer Banks, reported in 2015 that it found a hole so deep, the creators needed a ladder to get out, McCatchy News reported.
The National Park Service says the dangers of such holes include people and wildlife falling into them, and children smothering in sand collapses, McClatchy News reported.