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Sand “Traps”: A Serious Beach Hazard

Posted by Jody on August 12, 2011

We hear and read words of advice about all sorts of beach hazards, from stingrays to sunstroke.  All of these warnings are meant to educate us and help us be better prepared for fun at the beach. The information isn’t really meant to scare us, even though real-life tales can be quite frightening.  The information is meant to make us pay attention!

Beach goers are getting into trouble, actually needing to be rescued, in sand pits dug on the beach.  From Southern California to Caister-on-Sea, Norfolk, England to Pompano Beach, Florida, people are being schooled about the genuine dangers of digging deep holes in the sand.   There are more reasons to beware than immediately come to mind, but several more obvious reasons are detailed in a piece by Kristen Josen of Ocean City Today: “Deep holes are dangerous just about anywhere they are found, and people usually try to avoid falling into them. Sand holes are particularly dangerous because they can collapse on the people digging them. Also, the vacation-oriented mindset of hole diggers clouds judgment and people tend to underestimate the possible dangers of jumping in and out of a giant sandpit.”

Sandy Shores of Ocean City, Maryland (Photo: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Digital Visual Library, from Wikimedia Commons)

The city council of North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina recently passed and ordinance calling for beach goers to fill in their sand holes at the beach.  Violators of the new “dig a hole, fill a hole” law will pay a $100.00 fine.

According to an article found at, by Janelle Frost: “North Myrtle Beach officials worry deep holes could cause injuries if a person walks into them; the sand could collapse on a person; and public safety, emergency and beach cleaning vehicles could get damaged. There’s also danger to nesting sea turtles that could get trapped in a hole.”

“To help prevent those risks, the City Council recently passed an ordinance that prohibits beachgoers from digging holes, trenches or depressions on the beach deeper than 12 inches and then leaving them unfilled.”

As we say in Girl Scouting: “Leave No Trace”.

The  best day at the beach is a safe day at the beach. -J-

Feel free to leave a comment!  And keep your friends safe, too: share us on FaceBook.

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