Thursday, August 11, 2011

Hatteras Inlet

If you have ridden the Hatteras Inlet ferry you may have noticed several pilings on the beach on the north end of Ocracoke Island. This is all that remains of the US Coast Guard Station that was built there in 1917. It washed into the sea after a series of hurricanes in the mid-1950s.

The Hatteras Inlet Station during WWII:

(Click on photo to view a larger image.)

This was the second station built at Hatteras Inlet. The first was a US Life Saving Station constructed in 1883. In 1915 the Life Saving Service joined with the Revenue Cutter Service to create the Coast Guard. A second station, in Ocracoke village, had already been put into service in 1905. That building was replaced after WWII, and is now the campus of NCCAT (the North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching).

The US Coast Guard still maintains a presence on Ocracoke. They and their predecessors have been an important part of island history for more than 100 years. We salute the "Coasties" and their contributions to Ocracoke and our nation!

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is Lou Ann's story of the Night Blooming Cereus Cactus. You can read it here:


  1. Debbie Leonard7:55 AM

    What are the metal piling/canal looking things just north of the North Pond area? I noticed them while kayaking and wondered if you know what they are (or were). Thanks!

  2. Dawn Taylor8:11 AM

    A post that is dear to my heart. Long family history of those who served in the LSS and Coast Guard. Thanks for a wonderful morning blog !

  3. Anonymous9:01 AM

    Please describe the Coast Guard's "presence" on Ocracoke now. Are any Coast Guard personnel actually stationed on Ocracoke?

  4. Anonymous2:02 PM

  5. Dawn Taylor6:12 PM

    Was at the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum in Hatteras, earlier today. Doing research on the ships timbers that came from the Schooner, the Carroll A. Deering. Found out after questioning the man in the gift shop, that the store front windows came from the old Hatteras Inlet Coast Guard Station.

  6. Re. the links posted by anon. at 2:02: The first link is now out of date, as the station itself has been de-activated. The building is now the Ocracoke campus of NCCAT (North Carolina Center for the Advancement of Teaching). The second link is to a Coast Guard cutter, "Ocracoke."

  7. Debbie, I believe the metal structure you are referring to is the remnants of an old bulkhead or seawall. Erosion has claimed the surrounding land.

  8. The Coast Guard keeps a small patrol boat at the NCCAT dock (the former Coast Guard station). I don't know how many personnel stay at Ocracoke, or for how long, but their permanent station is Hatteras Inlet. While on Ocracoke they live in the condos at the former Boyette House motel.

  9. Debbie Leonard8:34 PM

    Thanks Philip, It does look like that's what it could be but I was confused b/c it is completely surrounded by water. Interesting to paddle around though.