When I think of beach safety two things quickly come to my mind; sunscreen
and knowing how to swim. However, we all know the various other safety
precautions we should take when spending a day at the beach. (If you need
some reminders, see below.) But, something I experienced a few weeks ago
was absolutely terrifying and is something most of us do not think about...
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.