Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Chilling warning about beach safety

On Friday, April 1, a seven-year-old girl was pinned under a log on the Oregon Coast. She and her friends had been playing on the log moments before, when a big wave came in and picked up the log, pinning them underneath. The adults in the group were able to rescue the others, but not Kya Blake.  Kya was buried under the log for several agonizing minutes as her family tried to dig her out to no avail. Then finally, with many people helping, and more water coming in, they were able to free her. After 10 minutes of CPR and bagging, she finally took a breath...but she suffered from brain swelling and went into a coma for 10 days.

Amazingly, she survived and two months later, she is learning how to walk again with a walker. It's truly amazing what the brain can survive: we have seen this ourselves with Chris' brain injury in the NICU, in addition to a cardiac arrest our friends' son survived.

A few years ago we had our own near miss with a log and a sneaker wave. I could have been trapped under a log, or one of my kids could have been.

Please, spread the word. Don't play on logs on the beach, unless they are far, far, far away from the water and there is no chance a wave could come in. And if a wave does come in, stay away from logs. It takes only about four inches of water to float a five-ton log.

The log before it got swept away by a sneaker wave
It's a good reminder of the need for vigilance at the beach. Don't leave children unattended near the water, and keep your eyes on the ocean at all times. Fortunately, little Kya will survive her day at the beach...but it so easily could have been fatal.

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