I think they did make for Croatan island and sadly never arrived. My guess — a sudden storm came up and they went down with all hands.
The sounds are fairly shallow and much warmer than the Atlantic. That doesn’t mean you can’t get in trouble out there because you can, but it’s a lot more forgiving than, say, Diamond Shoals. Not a good place to be in a thunderstorm. Major hurricanes have been known to empty shallower sections only to inundate them when the wind shifts. But, they were seafaring people who had crossed the North Atlantic. I suspect something else, genetic swamping. They lost hope in a ship returning and threw their lot in with the locals, and migrated inland.