Killer Sand

Herbie Robinson

Registered User
Jan 31, 2005
632
0
0
Cleveland
#1
ATLANTA, Georgia (AP) -- Waves and sharks aren't the only dangers at the beach. More than two dozen young people have been killed over the last decade when sand holes collapsed on them, report father-and-son doctors who have made warning of the risk their personal campaign.

Since 1985, at least 20 children and young adults in the United States have died in beach or backyard sand submersions. And at least eight others died in Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom, according to a letter from the doctors published in this week's issue of The New England Journal of Medicine.

Among them was Matthew Gauruder, who died from a collapse at an after-prom beach party in Westerly, Rhode Island, in May 2001. The 17-year-old was playing football with friends when he jumped for a pass and fell backward into an eight-foot-deep hole someone had dug earlier.

Would-be rescuers made the problem worse by caving in more sand as they tried to approach him. People at the scene said he may have been buried 15 minutes, said his mother, Mavis.

"People have no conception of how dangerous this is," she said in an interview this week.

Sand hole collapses occur horrifyingly fast, said Dr. Bradley Maron of Harvard Medical School, the report's lead author.

"Typically, victims became completely submerged in the sand when the walls of the hole unexpectedly collapsed, leaving virtually no evidence of the hole or location of the victim," wrote Maron, an internal medicine resident.

Accident sparked research
Maron, a former lifeguard, became interested in the topic in the summer of 1998. He was vacationing with his family on Martha's Vineyard when he and his father, Minnesota cardiologist Dr. Barry Maron, saw a lifeguard responding to a collapse that engulfed an 8-year-old girl.

The girl survived, thanks to a dramatic rescue. But it left a big impression on Maron, who's spent years tracking -- and writing about -- similar incidents.

"It's been almost like a vendetta for him," said Dennis Arnold, who runs the beach patrol in the Martha's Vineyard community of Edgartown and was Maron's boss that summer.

People naturally worry about splashier threats, such as shark attacks. However, the Marons' research found there were 16 sand hole or tunnel deaths in the United States from 1990 to 2006 compared with 12 fatal shark for the same period, according to University of Florida statistics.

And Bradley Maron thinks the sand-related deaths are less well-documented than shark attacks.

The father and son based their report largely on news media accounts and Internet searches. Most of the incidents were from the last 10 years, when Internet reports were available.

Overall, they counted 31 recreational sand hole deaths since 1985 in the United States, United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand. They counted another 21 incidents in which a person was rescued from a collapse, in several cases by bystanders who performed CPR.

The victims, mostly boys, ranged in age from 3 to 21 years, with the average age about 12.

Unattended construction sites have long posed dangers, and one incident in the Marons' compilation -- involving three girls who died in East Milton, Florida, in 1998 -- occurred in a rain-soaked clay pit, when an embankment collapsed. Those deaths, if added to the others, bring the U.S. death tally to 23.

Maron and others advise the public not to let young kids play in sand unattended, and not to get in a hole deeper than your knees.

On Martha's Vineyard, lifeguards are instructed to order children and adults out of any hole deeper than a child's waist, and to kick sand in to fill them, Arnold said.

Occasionally, some parents protest. "They'll say 'You're ruining my kids' day!' I say 'I don't care,"' Arnold said.

Mavis Gauruder, who lives in Fort Mill, South Carolina, said she's tried to issue similar warnings, like the time she came upon a father digging a hole with a garden shovel for his young son.

She went up to the pair and warned them of the dangers. The man seemed unmoved, so she finally told him she'd had a tragedy in her family involving a hole collapse.

"I asked them to fill in the hole. They did, but they looked at me like I was interfering," she said.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
 

GLENN_THE_TOOL

The reward is cheese.
May 23, 2005
9,404
3
0
#2
Flint Marko strikes again. WHERE ARE YOU, SPIDER-MAN?!?
 
Feb 20, 2006
8,646
549
521
**** Island
#3
Would-be rescuers made the problem worse by caving in more sand as they tried to approach him. People at the scene said he may have been buried 15 minutes
"This guy spends more time in the sand than David Hasselhoff"
 

cozzie

head retard
Aug 7, 2005
1,482
1
176
Norristown PA
#4
However, the Marons' research found there were 16 sand hole or tunnel deaths in the United States from 1990 to 2006 compared with 12 fatal shark for the same period, according to University of Florida statistics.



So fucking what, guess it sucks to be you- burried by sand.
 

THE FEZ MAN

as a matter of fact i dont have 5$
Aug 23, 2002
41,324
8,984
768
#5
Sand hole collapses occur horrifyingly fast, said Dr. Bradley Maron of Harvard Medical School, the report's lead author.


no cure for cancer, but a couple of assholes die on the beach and were all doomed
 

Frankie_Ballz

wear no bag, spread the hiv
Jul 24, 2005
576
0
0
#6
A couple of years ago I was playing frisbee on the beach. I was running backwards to catch it not knowing some shithead little kids had dug a god damn 3 foot deep trench in the ground I went ass over teakettle into the hole landed on my back. I only wish it was on tape. I didn't realize that I was in such peril, fucker could have collapsed on me.
 

Hudson

Supreme Champion!!!!!
Donator
Jan 14, 2002
32,840
4,566
898
Land of misfit toys
#7
We used to dig "benny" traps in the sand around our lifeguard bench back in the day for shits and giggles. Basically they were holes in the sand dug sideways and could go a few feet deep...well this was when elder Kean used to do yearly beach walks for politics...he picked our bench to walk up to with his entourage and cameras and shit. We watched trying to hide our smirks as he stepped right into it and wiped out...
Well our boss was there and that was the end of those...although he did tell me privately that it was the funniest thing he ever saw.
Also, you would not believe how many times asshats at the shore would dig these huge 5 foot deep pits and get pissed when we made them fill them in. That and wanted to get buried vertically up to their necks by their friends and we stopped them.
 

KingTheoden84

Registered User
Jun 9, 2007
91
0
0
#8
I read recently that at least one beach in New Jersey was effectively banning hole construction at the beach. Just another stupid law meant to micromanage our lives. You know what, I've dug pretty massive works on Long Beach Island- and would like think think I know when I am pushing my luck. Part of freedom is being able to make our own choices, even if they might be somewhat ill advised. Of the millions of beach goers each year, 22 deaths due to sand castle holes is hardly some epidemic. Of course it is sad when anyone dies, particularly in a freak accident. But this attitude that we ought to go around outlawing anything with a scintilla of risk is better suited for the Soviet Union, not a free country such that we allegedly are.