A swimmer was killed after being impaled by an umbrella
Medical professionals and off-duty bystanders helped the woman before she was taken to hospital, where she later died. According to local reports, the umbrella was released by winds of 10 to 15 miles per hour.
“Horrible accident”: a woman killed by an umbrella in Virginia Beach
His death is just the latest umbrella-related fatality. In 2016, Lottie Michelle Belk, 55, was celebrating her birthday and a birthday in Virginia Beach when a flying umbrella struck her in the chest, causing life-threatening injuries. In this case, Virginia Beach police said a “strong gust of wind” ripped the umbrella off the ground.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, 2,800 umbrella-related injuries were treated in emergency rooms across the country in the nine years between 2010 and 2018. A December 2021 study from the Journal of Safety Research found that at least 5,512 parasol incidents in the United States were referred to emergency rooms and that the victims were disproportionately women over the age of 40.
Wind was involved in more than 50% of umbrella-related injuries, according to the 2021 study. Lacerations, bruises and abrasions and injuries to internal organs were the three most common injuries. The study suggested that “policy makers should educate the public about the potential dangers of beach and patio umbrellas.”
The CPSC provides advice to the public on how to properly set up a beach umbrella, advising sunbathers to rock their beach umbrellas back and forth until they are two feet deep in the sand and to tilt the parasol in the wind to prevent them from blowing. a way. The CPSC also recommends using some sort of weight or anchor to hold umbrellas up.
However, some safety advocates say the CPSC’s latest efforts to protect bathers from rogue umbrellas aren’t enough.
Bill Schermerhorn, president of beachBUB USA, a company that sells an umbrella adopted by safety advocates, said the CPSC’s latest guidelines fell short.
Beach trips can be costly for the environment. Here’s how to reduce your impact.
Schermerhorn worries that CPSC’s advice to angle the umbrella into the wind isn’t enough. The wind on the beach can change quickly and unexpectedly, which means that a properly installed umbrella one hour can become a hazard the next, especially when it doesn’t take much wind to loosen a poorly anchored umbrella. .
“If you’ve ever been to the beach and tried to put an umbrella eight inches in the sand, let alone two feet, you realize it’s an impossible task,” Schermerhorn said.
Schermerhorn, who works with ASTM International to help design safety standards for umbrellas, said he wants the CPSC to produce a stronger public service announcement on umbrella safety.
CPSC spokeswoman Karla Crosswhite-Chigbue wrote in an email that the agency was investigating the incident this week. “CPSC staff are also currently working with a standards development organization in hopes of developing a standard that could help establish requirements for reliable and safe umbrellas and anchoring systems,” she said. declared.
Last week a viral video of Bethany Beach, Del., showed dozens of umbrellas flying through the air and tossed into the ocean after a strong thunderstorm with winds of up to 40 mph ripped them off.
“This is one of the many videos out there where the umbrellas go dancing on the beach…because they’re not weighted down, they’re just dug into the sand,” Schermerhorn said.
What parents need to know before letting their kids play in a bouncy house