Woman Killed by Flying Beach Umbrella

eksmama01

Be Kind
Joined
Oct 2, 2020
I almost bought a BeachBub last time this happened, now I definitely will. I’d feel terrible if it were my fault.
I completely agree! We had one blow down the beach on OBX one year, but thankfully could catch up to it before it got near anyone.
 

fly girl

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jan 20, 2012
Seemingly innocent day at the beach ... so so sad. :sad1:

Found out last week a former coworker passed away fly fishing. Again, another pastime you really don't consider high risk. As PP stated, you never know when our number is up.
 

Colleen27

DIS Veteran
Joined
Mar 31, 2007
Looks like about 3600 people a year are injured by beach umbrella in the US.

Shockingly worldwide 2 million people a year are killed by loosely secured outdoor canopies.

https://www.rmdlaw.com/personal-injury-blog/flying-umbrellas-everything-you-need-to-know/#:~:text=Flying Umbrella Injuries: Fast Facts and Statistics&text=From 2009 to 2018, a,to loosely secured outdoor canopies.

View attachment 692789

I suspect that 2 million figure was a screw up at some level. It doesn't appear anywhere except a couple of law firm sites, and the source is a mid-sized newspaper where a search for keywords in the snippet turns up nothing. So either the paper screwed up and corrected it after the lawsuit peddlers picked it up, or the figure is tossed in for shock value. My money is on the latter, since the site links to other news stories and CPSC reports for their stats but lets that one sit there with only the parenthetical attribution.

The CPSC report they link lists 15 fatalities in the US from 2010 to 2019. Fewer than two per year in the US makes me think 2 million worldwide isn't a believable number.
 
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MrsCobraBubbles

Life's too short to wear pants all the time
Joined
Jul 24, 2013
I have absolutely never considered this. There's plenty of scary things about the beach but I never considered an umbrella could get me!!
 

AnnaS

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jul 7, 2001
Awful - so sad. Prayers for her loved ones.

This is a big fear of mine too the few rare times we are at the beach.

Just in March we were staying at Vero Beach with friends. (staying in the Disney resort). We were watching a couple and the male was trying to keep the umbrella in the sand but the wind kept popping it out. After a while and the umbrella stayed in - we stopped looking in their direction. Sure enough at one point it went flying and the tip hit our friend in the neck. Luckily it was at the end of the umbrella's flying in the air and rolling on the ground. He was okay - but it was scary it did not hit him with more force or it would not have ended good.
 
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mjkacmom

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 20, 2006
I have absolutely never considered this. There's plenty of scary things about the beach but I never considered an umbrella could get me!!
It seems like many haven’t been to the Jersey shore, I don’t think I’ve had a beach day where I haven’t seen a flying umbrella. Ours has become airborne a couple of times.
 

mrodgers

DIS Veteran
Joined
Oct 29, 2009
I almost bought a BeachBub last time this happened, now I definitely will. I’d feel terrible if it were my fault.
$156 is a bit pricy for the equivalent of tying a grocery bag (though a bit heavier material) to the bottom of your umbrella and filling it with sand, but it at least gives me idea to figure out how to do just that next time I go to the beach.
 

barkley

DIS Veteran<br><font color=orange>If I ever have a
Joined
Apr 6, 2004
our car was almost hit by a beach type umbrella that the wind picked up from a table in front of a burger king. we were in slow moving traffic and saw the wind pick it up from one of those patio style tables (hole in the middle that the umbrella is put in) and that thing flew/bobbing up and down narrowly missing multiple cars across four lanes of traffic.
 

Mysterian

Perfectly Impractical
Joined
Aug 2, 2020
An awful way to go. I never realized this was a beach hazard until now. Typically beach people are relaxing and not anticipating something like this, so how do you protect yourself? I wouldn't want to risk putting up a beach umbrella just to protect from beach umbrellas.
 

NotUrsula

DIS Veteran
Joined
Apr 19, 2002
I've always thought it should be a local ordinance in beach communities that umbrellas sold in souvenir stores be packaged with, or at least displayed with, sand anchors, and marked with a sign explaining that you need to have both. Tourists who know nothing about using beach umbrellas often buy them at the beach when they discover buying is cheaper than renting, but they typically don't understand about the importance of anchoring them. (Also, beach condos often have umbrellas in the sand closet, but seldom have anchors. People who travel by air and buy at their destination often keep keep the anchor for re-use, but abandon the umbrella because it won't fit in their luggage.)

A plastic sand anchor meant for a few days' use can be purchased for under $10, though I always recommend investing in a better one. My steel anchor cost about $22, and I've had it for years. it has internal screws to hold the pole as well as the auger to drive it into the sand. I also have a sack anchor for times when I'm traveling carry-on only and plan to borrow an umbrella. It's a bit more hassle to use. (Good sack anchors always have a hole in the bottom of the sack; you still have to drive the pole deep, but then you fill the sack with sand to hold it. I usually still use a plastic auger anchor with it for extra safety.) The sack anchor I have is a Shade brand: https://www.shadeusa.com/product/shade-anchor-bag/

Also, I think that "screw-tip" umbrellas should be banned. They are marketed as an all-in-one solution that is easier to drive into the sand, and that's true, but the lack of a crossbar means that most people don't drive it deep enough for the auger blades to grip securely. I would bet that if you looked closely at impalement injuries, you would find that most of the umbrellas involved are screw-tips. Not only do they have that sharp point, but the pointed cap keeps sand from getting inside the hollow pole, which normally serves to help make the pole heavier and reduces how far it will fly if it comes up; still dangerous, but not as much so.
 
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Brett Wyman

Legacy Guest
Joined
Mar 30, 2018
The beach crew (on “our” beach) comes around and lowers umbrellas when it’s windy. Maybe personal umbrellas will no longer be allowed?

I was going to say the same thing for our beach. Rental and private umbrellas are allowed but they will ask you to take down your private umbrella if the winds kick up. But there are plenty of beaches without any type of supervision.
 








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