Beachgoers Beware: The Hidden Danger of Quicksand

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A Close Call on Phippsburg Beach

Beachgoers Beware The Hidden Danger of Quicksand
Beachgoers Beware The Hidden Danger of Quicksand

It can happen in an instant—one minute you’re walking on the sand, and the next, you find yourself sinking into quicksand. As summer approaches, beachgoers need to be aware of this hidden danger lurking beneath seemingly harmless shorelines.

Jamie Accord and her husband were strolling along the beach in Phippsburg, Maine, when Jamie found herself in a terrifying predicament. In an interview with our reporter, Allison Hall, Jamie described the shocking experience.

“It was just like walking on hard-packed sand on the beach, and up until that point, everything was hard-packed sand,” she recounted. “How deep did you fall?” Hall asked. “Up to my waist. My arms were on top of the sand. I had a backpack on, and I couldn’t get myself out. So I just looked at my husband and said, ‘I can’t get out, can you pull me out?'”

Jamie’s husband initially couldn’t see her legs. “Where are your legs?” he asked, to which Jamie replied, “I can still feel them, but I don’t know where they are.” Thankfully, her husband was able to pull her out before the situation became more dire.

Understanding Quicksand: What to Look For

Quicksand is commonly found along shorelines, particularly during low tide, and it isn’t always easy to spot. If you notice a pocket of saturated sand with water sitting on top of it, especially when the water is just a few feet away, be cautious—it could very well be quicksand.

Survival consultant Shane Hobell offered valuable insights on how to escape if you find yourself sinking in quicksand. During a demonstration for Inside Edition, Hobell explained, “We’re not going to wiggle—that just makes us go deeper. So we’re going to slow down, we’re going to stop.”

How to Escape Quicksand

If you don’t have any tools, you can still use your body to get out. Hobell suggested getting down on your hands and knees and crawling out slowly. However, the best method involves using a stick.

“I have a big stick, and finding that firm ground out there in front of you, you can then use that as your support,” Hobell explained. “Start to work slowly, sort of in a slow wiggle, and keep pulling up. By putting your weight on the stick and starting to drive up, you can get your foot to firm ground and then start working the other leg. And there we go—oh my God, that’s quicksand.”

Stay Safe This Summer

As beach season kicks into high gear, remember these tips to stay safe from quicksand. Awareness and knowing how to react can make all the difference in ensuring a fun and hazard-free summer outing.

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