Coast Guard removes 5 lighted buoys near Cape Lookout

(Photo: Cape Lookout National Seashore/Facebook)

CAPE LOOKOUT, NC (WITN) – There is some concern that the removal of navigational buoys Down East could cause more boats to run aground.

The U.S. Coast Guard removed the five lighted buoys in Barden Inlet because of shoaling on Monday.

The inlet is the main way for people to get to Cape Lookout and the eastern shores of Shackleford Banks from Harker’s Island.

The Coast Guard says heavy shoaling has gotten worse over the past few months, making the waterway inaccessible to many boats. “The current position of the markers may be misleading to mariners, which can be more dangerous than having no aids to navigation,” the Coast Guard said in a news release.

It says boaters going through Barden Inlet should now do so at their own risk.

Despite the channel markers being removed, the Cape Lookout National Seashore says the inlet is still usable to boaters.

The National Park Service says it is working with federal, state, and county officials to find help a solution to the shoaling problem.