A 13-year-old boy was seriously injured on Friday when a flying beach umbrella barrelled into his shoulder during a family beach trip in Massachusetts, fire officials say.
The unnamed teen faced serious but not life-threatening injuries after being struck by the large umbrella around 1:30 p.m. at Good Harbor Beach, the Gloucester Fire Department announced in a statement. Department officials said the umbrella had flown through the air before injuring the boy. He was taken to Beverly Hospital.
“I was sitting right here, and a little gust of wind came up, and the umbrella popped straight up in the air,” witness Chris Carson told WCVB. “Before anybody could grab it, it just kind of rolled over, and the kid was standing in the way on the beach. He couldn’t get out of the way.”
Witnesses said the boy was bleeding profusely and beachgoers stepped in to help before emergency responders got to the scene, WCVB reported. He is expected to make a full recovery.
Fire Lt. Nick Ouellette told CNN that the boy was struck in the left shoulder, adding that everyone at the scene appeared “surprisingly calm.”
“When I saw that I started to run down and when I got down there, there was like a hole in the kid’s arm so I started to talk to him,” said witness Jacob Vargus. “Another lady started tying a tourniquet while others were calling the paramedics.”
Beach umbrella accidents are fairly common during the summer months as families head to the beach to keep cool. But experts say there are simple ways to prevent such incidents. Experts told ABC News that it’s best to avoid using “flimsy, plastic” umbrellas. Santa Monica Lifeguard Captain Julio Rodriguez said the base of the umbrella should be dug at least 16 inches into the sand.
“You can either use a shovel to dig the hole deep enough to set the stake and pack it in, or once you drive the stake into the sand, rock it back and forth,” said Rodriguez. “That typically gets it in deeper into the sand.”
The teen is the latest person to survive being impaled by a flying object in a headline-making incident. In June, Eli Gregg miraculously survived after a 10-inch knife went into his face after a fall, Today reported.
In May, a California driver survived after his chest was impaled by a stolen tripod after it was thrown from an overpass and crashed into his car window.