It was probably one of the most gut-wrenching things I have experienced as I watched a father run around Vanderbilt Beach screaming his child's name, yelling out any identifying information he could think of, asking for the help of anyone willing, while he frantically looked for his daughter. I have never been at the beach and experienced silence amidst thousands of people until that moment. Almost everyone stopped what they were doing and started looking for the missing girl. People were running to bathrooms, into beach access roads, anywhere they could to try and help. The fathers voice became more desperate and that just his yelling gave me chills multiple times and I was almost in tears at one point.
THANKFULLY, after what felt like an eternity, but what I believe was 20 minutes, the father found his daughter. Everyone let out a sigh of relief.
Moral of the story in my opinion is something parents hear all of the time...you can't turn your back for a second when it comes to your children. The lost girl was only three or four years old. She slipped away in a quick second. She couldn't find her way back to her parents and kept wandering down the beach hoping to find them. That's bad enough, but what if she was in the water, drowning? We have no lifeguards on our beaches. Even more of a reason to keep a close eye.
I felt like this was the perfect story to share in our newsletter. Though horrifying, it's a great safety reminder given that summer is here and many beach days are upon us.
Here are some additional links regarding beach safety:
Stay Safe At the Beach—13 Tips for Preventing Injury and Illness
American Red Cross —Beach Safety
Happy beaching everyone!