Dangers of Sand-Hole Collapses on Florida Beaches

By: Betsy Goldin Email
By: Betsy Goldin Email

When surf conditions are rough, families sometime spend their day at the beach, playing in our world famous sugar-white sands.

"Normally what we see out here is, when it's a red flag, especially double red flag, their attention turns to digging holes," said Chris Lambert, the lifeguard supervisor.

Monday along South Walton beaches all you could see were groups of children all along the beach, digging holes.

But, what starts out as innocent fun can turn into a dangerous and terrifying situation.

Friday, a 6-year-old boy was buried in an 11 foot hole in a national park in Indiana. He is in critical condition, but is recovering.

Accidents like this are rare, but when they happen, they can be deadly.

The last time anyone was killed in our area was in 1994, when someone got stuck in a hole on a South Walton beach, but other families have had scares.

Officials said you should never dig above the knees of the smallest person in your groups and stay away from the water.

"The water is a lot like quick sand when it's wet, especially if the waves wash in behind them and it fills the hold and pushed them into it, it's hard to get out," said Lambert.

In the United States, Australia, Great Britain and New Zealand there have been only 52 reported cases of sand-hole collapses, but 31 of those were fatal.


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