Tom FORMAN Jr. – Associated Press

The city on the Water Banks of North Carolina has made a public request to beachgoers about the dangers of digging pits on the ocean a few hours before a man died on a New Jersey beach when a pit fell on him.

Kill Devil Hills officials posted a photo on Facebook on Tuesday showing rescue chief David Elder standing in a large pit that he said was up to 7 feet (2 meters) deep in some places. The chairman said his height was 6 feet 4 inches (193 centimeters).

The chairman said ocean rescuers had warned people digging him of the danger and they had promised to fill it out before leaving. He was still there when he passed after work, he said.

“Some people said there was a problem, and of course I could see it from where I was standing,” he told The Associated Press.

Deep beach pits, in addition to injuring those who dig them, can detain or damage rescue vehicles working on the beach, officials said in an online post. They can also catch sea turtles and their hatched, which will be fatal, the report said.

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The man, commenting on the post, mentioned that he broke his foot in four places and he needed two surgeries after one night in 2017 he entered a beach pit.

The chairman said that because the water in the ocean is cold, tourists tend to look for “alternative entertainment”.

“Unfortunately, this is the way people choose their time,” he said.

The elder recalled how in the town of Kitty Hawk in 1999, a teenage girl was in a deep pit on the beach near the water when a shaft crashed into it and filled it, covering it without being able to get out.

In 2014, a man from Fredericksburg, Virginia, died in Salvo, also on Water Banks, when sand fell on him after authorities said he was building a tunnel between two holes about 6 feet (1.8 meters) deep. When rescuers found the man, his family said he was buried for up to 15 minutes, the National Parks Service said.

New Jersey police said an 18-year-old teenager from Maine died Tuesday while playing with his sister on the beach when a large pit they dug in the sand collapsed. The Thoms River Police Department said in a statement that the sister was also trapped, but she was rescued and assisted at the scene.

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