A trip to the beach is a classic staple of the British summer holiday. Things simply wouldn’t be the same without overpriced ice-creams, chip-stealing seagulls and sand getting everywhere. However, as enjoyable as a day out at the beach can be, it is also fraught with danger and care must be taken to avoid serious public accidents.
Beach accidents – slips, trips and falls
Whether they are pebble or sand, beaches do not tend to make for the most stable walking areas, particularly if you are laden with picnics, dinghies and beach games. Normally, the consequences are limited to cuts and bruises but the worst trips and falls can result in dislocations and broken bones.
Beach accidents – problems in the water
Far and away the biggest fear for anyone at the beach is drowning. High tides and unpredictable water movements can cause all manner of problems. At one end of the scale, it means a quick gather up of possessions and scurry to the back of the beach as the waves come in. At the other, it can result in tragic fatalities.
The most dangerous seas are those with rip currents. Rip currents are channels of water that flow out towards the sea from near the shore (typically from the surf line which is where the waves break). They are strong and can move faster than any human can possibly swim. Furthermore, over the course of a day they can move to any number of locations along the beach.
In terms of drowning, rip currents do not pull the swimmer under water. Rather, they will drag them out so far from the shore that they can no longer reach land. The threat of drowning then becomes worryingly real.
The key to escaping a rip current is to get out of it. Swimming against it is futile. The best thing to do is stay calm and swim parallel to the shore until you no longer feel the pull of the current. It can require swimming a distance of more than one hundred metres before it is safe to attempt to get back to shore.
Beaches with strong currents will have safety posters with information that needs to be followed. If you are hurt because of negligence from those in charge of beach safety, then Accident Advice Helpline can get you the public accident compensation you may deserve.
Date Published: July 8, 2014
Author: Accident Advice