It is frightening to think that someone enjoying a day at the beach, simply digging in the sand, could quickly end up in a life-threatening situation and possibly die as a result. That is what happened in Half Moon Bay in July 2014. A young man died after a hole he was digging collapsed and buried him beneath four feet of sand. It took emergency responders and volunteers more than 30 minutes to unearth him and despite an hour-long effort to revive him, the 26-year-old died.
To be well trained on how to deal with this type of emergency response, this month, State Park Peace Officer Lifeguards of all ranks in the California State Parks Channel Coast District and Angeles District conducted drills on the response and rescue of 'sand entrapment.'
"This is a real world scenario in which State Park Lifeguards demonstrate the proper technique to recover a victim who has been engulfed by sand from digging," said Resource Protection Peace Officers Association (RPPOA) Secretary Geno Lucich. "Digging in the sand may seem like a harmless beach activity, but it can easily turn into a deadly disaster."
"California State Park Beaches are among the most beautiful, but there are dangers in and out of the water," said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. "Our State Park Rangers, Peace Officer Lifeguards and seasonal lifeguards are there to help educate and protect beachgoers. Training is key to response and rescue."
RPPOA and CSLEA remind beachgoers to be aware of the potential dangers as they pertain to digging holes or trenches and applaud training activities that can assist in saving lives.