Killer sandcastles more deadly than sharks?

Posted by Laura
Just when you thought it was safe to open a newspaper… The rapscallions of silly season leap out from behind columns and headlines to bite the unsuspecting reader and awaken them from their no-news-snooze.
Summer is indeed a torrid time for journalists – with only Big Brother, the weather and a few tidbits of general interest to tide them over the desolate news desert that lies before them. That’s when the so-fictional-they’re-true news stories come out; articles that are so ridiculous, outlandish or, frankly, nonsensical they are just begging to be read.
So when we heard about the story of America’s killer sandcastles in the Guardian and the Telegraph, we just had to investigate further.
According to the New England Journal of Medicine, holes in the sand dug by bucket-and-spade-toting children and tourists have accounted for 16 deaths in the States since 1990 – more than the death toll from shark attacks, which stands at 12.
Unsuspecting beach-dwellers are falling into the holes, ending up submerged when the walls cave in.  The journal reports that beach patrols in Massachusetts are taking the deadly dangers seriously enough to ban the digging of holes.
Would the same happen on British beaches? Most people have at least one anecdote about falling into a cunningly-dug beach pit or being buried up to their neck in sand. Perhaps the prospect of killer sandcastles could end this holiday ‘hilarity’ forever.
Judging by the other news of the day this seems unlikely, however. Britons need to be able to get near a beach in the first place in order to get digging – and the colder, wetter weather coming our way looks sure to put a dampener on that for the time being.
At least that gives us journalists one more story to keep us in business while the news drought continues. People will never get sick of reading about the weather – especially when there are 140,000 campers braving the elements under canvas in Somerset during one of the dampest June weekends we’ve had in a long time.
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28 Responses to Killer sandcastles more deadly than sharks?

  1. Daniel says:

    You people at MSN really need to quit with this "bad for you" crap.
    Every bloody morning I turn onto your site and heaven forbid, yet another pointless article is presented to me abuot what I should no longer enjoy in life because it can be potentially fatal for me. Sunglasses, eggs, too much sugar in fruit.
    Seriously, you should add your own site to the mix because if it continues I might just some how die because of excess stress on the hairline fracture to my wrist because I typed a response to your pointless articles. Funnily enough, the fracture was obtained jumping off cliffs into the sea in Portugal (another story that was recently mentioned in the news not so long ago). People take risks, just leave them alone and let them get at it.

  2. maria says:

    Would the same happen on British beaches? 
    The summer before last, 3 year old Abbie Livingstone-Nurse was smothered to death when a 5 foot deep hole she had been playing in, collapsed.   Coastguards managed to pull out her 5 year old brother but the toddler had suffocated by the time they could dig her out, as the hole kept collapsing in. 
    Her family were distraught – I suppose you just thought it was another ridiculous \’so-fictional-they\’re-true-news-story.\’ 
    This happened in Cornwall and was hardly a \’holiday hilarity.\’
    And irresponsible comments like \’people take risks, just leave them alone\’ can only contrbute to more toddler deaths as parents remain unaware of how quickly sand holes can cave in. 

  3. Theresa says:

    As far as I am concerned, this is a real danger that too many people pay not enough attention to.  Quite a number of years ago, my son and his best friend were playing in sand dunes where we lived- his friend making a tunnel – it collapsed and my son managed to dig him out just in time, as he was blue and had stopped breathing when he did emerge.  What can be innocent harmless fun one minute can all too quickly become a tragic accident with the loss of life.  I would appeal to anyone wanting to dig holes in the sand to think twice before embarking on such an activity – it may not be you, but could be the person walking along the beach later on who has the accident – it this happened later in the day and they were alone, would you want to be responsible for the possible outcome?

  4. andy_wade says:

    How the hell do kids dig 5 foot holes in the sand?

  5. Unknown says:

    I don\’t necessarily think that suffocating in a tunnel on the beach is part of a newspaper\’s silly season.  I can remember just a couple of years ago reading that a young girl had died at the seaside doing just this.  There have probably been many over the years that I have not heard about.
    Many years ago whilst at a boarding school in Kent, the prefect who sat at the head of the next dining table was missing on Saturday evening.  I was informed by the boy next to me that the seventeen year old had been digging a tunnel with two others in the dunes alongside the beach.  The tunnel collapsed, he suffocated and died.   And that was it!  No announcement to the one hundred of us in the dining hall and certainly no counselling.   It was just \’Poor old so and so\’ and life went on.

  6. maria says:

    The answer to how do kids dig a 5 foot hole is – very easily.  Especially if you\’ve got some older kids or teenagers helping.
    When the tide\’s just gone out, the hole keeps its straight sides and kids just keep on digging.  It\’s only as the sand dries out over the day, that it starts to collapse.  And then it\’s too late.

  7. ARON says:

    What utter bo**ox if you really don\’t care about what goes on in this world step aside and let someone who does have a shot at forming public opinion!

  8. Unknown says:

    a little girl died last summer on a cornish beach doing just that…digging a hole that then caved in on top of her….so it\’s not just the yanks that it happens to…and when you think about it, everybody in the uk can get to a beach easier and quicker than many many americans can….
    and i kinda agree with the comment above……let fools be fools and take risks…..if somebody dies from it? Too bad….at least they died doing something exciting and not just sitting around waiting to die of old age or bordem! (except for that little girl last summer and others like her…that was truly tragic, but makes you wonder where the hell the parents were at the time!)x

  9. Unknown says:

    sorry….this isn\’t the message i agree with…it\’s the one at the very bottom…thankyou very much….now i am off to jump into the sea from a cliff…x

  10. Peter says:

    geez everything is either policticlly incorrect or smothered with safety signs today

  11. Kelly says:

    My dad is right – this is turning into a nanny state. People, the lunatics are about to take over the asylum! Yes, the story about the toddler was very sad, I\’m not saying I disagree with that. People dying is not a laughing matter. Whatever happened to using common sense though? Parents watching after their children?! Why can\’t people just be more careful. Watch where you\’re going! Sooner or later we are going to be told thats it\’s illegal to cross roads because cars are dangerous and can kill. Heck why not just ban cars! Or even better…ban walking!!

  12. Ben says:

    Are more people still killed by donkeys than by air crashes?

  13. Mc Carthy says:

    I worked on the beach here in Spain for many years and had many a narrow escapes from having broken bones due to stupid people diging holes in the beach and not refilling them.No a child canot dig a 5ft hole in the sand but her or his stupid father can, then go to the beach bar,get pissed leaving his stupid hole to endanger other people.The same stupid father would no doubt not allow his child to ride a bike unless it was dressed in complete body armour ,go on a playground swing or have a game of conkers,well that might depend if there was a chance of a possible insurance claim to his benifit.The only fitness training these people do is to borrow the shovel from the local deckchair man to show off to his kids how macho he is in diging a stupid hole 

  14. Mc Carthy says:

    I was in the army for more than twenty years and had to dig many a hole ,however before I left the place I was in ,no matter what part of the world it was I had to fill it in or pay the price,there was no excuse for lazyness.Good system and good education.

  15. Tom says:

    Digging sandcastles is dangerous – it can kill you. Keep your children at home where they can be safe from sandcastles, traffic and paedophiles.
    No wait, there are many fatal accidents in the home!
    Keep your children in a hermetically sealed bubble so that they can be "safe" from the dangers (of having any sort of life).
    Because it\’s a dangerous world out there – heaven forbid that anyone should ever get hurt by anything.

  16. Kevin says:

    Yes, I\’m with you. Face book is narcissism through and through.

  17. Don says:

    What a mess You have only to read 533 pages of the jehad times to see what we are up against.

  18. Don says:

    Translation of Sahih Bukhari, Book 52:

    [5.33] The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His apostle and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement,
    The Clans

    [33.61] Cursed: wherever they are found they shall be seized and murdered, a (horrible) murdering.

  19. Don says:

    Do we really need eff ing gob shite like the koran 5.33 to be circulated in the light of 9.11 look at 5.33

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