MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - There’s one object on the beach that may seem harmless, but it can cause serious injuries.
After a terrifying video of a toddler nearly getting impaled by a flying umbrella while on a portion of beach in Horry County surfaced, officials are reminding beachgoers about staying safe in the sand.
Beach umbrellas can keep people shaded on those hot and sunny days, but are they as safe as one might think? When the wind picks up on the beach, these umbrellas can rip out of the sand and potentially do serious damage.
Over the past nine years, Consumer Product Safety Commission states just a little over 32,000 umbrella-related injuries have been reported. Myrtle Beach Fire Battalion Chief Brian Mitchell, said he sees umbrellas ripped out of the sand and moving down the beach almost every day.
Mitchell wants to remind beachgoers to be aware of their surroundings at all times and to always double check that umbrellas are secure in the sand.
“If you can, be in the soft sand. It might allow you to get that umbrella pulled down deeper," Mitchell said. "As you move towards the hard pack, it’s going to be harder to secure that, to try to get through that hard-packed sand down by low tide.”
Here’s some tips to follow to properly secure your beach umbrella:
- Bury your umbrella in the sand by rocking it back and forth. A good rule of thumb is to bury the umbrella post at least 16 inches.
- Once your umbrella is securely buried into the sand, open the umbrella and tilt into the wind. That will prevent the wind gusts from picking up the umbrella from underneath. Keep in mind that the direction of wind changes throughout the day.
- For extra protection, there’s devices like sand anchors and beachBUBs you can easily attach to your umbrella.