A beachgoer was killed after being impaled by a beach umbrella

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A woman was murdered this week in Garden City, SC, after an umbrella flew into the air and then struck her – a tragic reminder that umbrellas can quickly become dangerous projectiles.

After becoming airborne, the umbrella struck and impale 63-year-old Tammy Perreault as she sat on the beach, according to statements from a Horry County spokesperson and Tamara Willard, the county’s deputy coroner.

Off-duty medical professionals and bystanders assisted the woman before she was transported to a hospital, where she later died. According to local reports, the umbrella was released by winds of 10 to 15 miles per hour.

‘Horrible Accident’: Woman Killed by Umbrella on Windy Virginia Beach

Her death is just the latest death related to an umbrella. In 2016, Lottie Michelle Belk, 55, was celebrating her anniversary and birthday on Virginia Beach when a flying beach umbrella struck her in the torso, causing fatal injuries. In that case, the 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. in the United States were referred to the emergency room and the victims were disproportionately women over 40.

According to the 2021 study, wind was involved in more than 50 percent of umbrella injuries. Cuts, 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 tips to the public on how to properly set up a parasol, advises beachgoers to rock their parasols back and forth until they are 60cm deep in the sand, and to tilt the parasol against the wind to avoid blowing it. away. The CPSC also recommends using some sort of weight or anchor to hold umbrellas.

However, some security advocates say the CPSC’s latest efforts to protect beachgoers from fraudulent umbrellas are not enough.

Bill Schermerhorn, president of beachBUB USA, a company that sells a beach umbrella embraced by safety advocates, said the CPSC’s latest guidelines are insufficient.

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Schermerhorn fears that the CPSC’s advice to tilt the umbrella against the wind is not enough. Wind on the beach can change quickly and unexpectedly, meaning an umbrella set up correctly one hour can become a hazard the next, especially when it doesn’t take a lot of wind to loosen a poorly anchored umbrella.

“If you’ve ever been to the beach and tried to stick an umbrella eight inches into the sand, let alone six feet, you realize that’s an impossible task,” Schermerhorn said.

Schermerhorn, who is working with ASTM International to help design umbrella safety standards, said he wants the CPSC to make a stronger public announcement about umbrella safety.

Karla Crosswhite-Chigbue, a spokesperson for CPSC, wrote in an email that the agency is investigating this week’s incident. “CPSC staff are also currently working with a standards development organization in the hope of developing a standard that can help establish the requirements for reliable and safe umbrellas and anchoring systems,” she said.

Severe weather on Bethany Beach, Del. on August 5, umbrellas blew into the ocean. (Video: The Washington Post)

Last week a viral video of Bethany Beach, Del., showed dozens of umbrellas flying in the air and being thrown into the ocean after a strong thunderstorm with winds up to 40 mph tore them loose.

“This is one of many videos where umbrellas dance across the beach… because they’re not weighted, they’re just pinned into the sand,” Schermerhorn said.

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The Valley Voice
The Valley Voicehttp://thevalleyvoice.org
Christopher Brito is a social media producer and trending writer for The Valley Voice, with a focus on sports and stories related to race and culture.

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