Disappearance of Child Highlights the Drowning Dangers of the Beaches of Hampton Roads
Two serious incidents in the waters off Virginia Beach and Norfolk this weekend again highlight the drowning dangers of the beaches of Hampton Roads.
On Saturday, a 12-year-old boy went missing near the Ocean View Fishing Pier in Norfolk. A search for the boy was called off the next day.
In Virginia Beach, lifeguards rescued five swimmers who got into trouble on the same day. One teen was reported to have suffered critical injuries.
The drowning dangers at the beaches of Hampton Roads are always present. The swimmers ended up in trouble even though no dangerous rip tides were reported on Saturday. Recently, we noted how parties may be liable for beach injuries, ranging from lifeguards to hotel owners and operators.
Media reports stated a 12-year-old boy went missing near the Ocean View Fishing Pier in Norfolk on Saturday evening. An emergency call was placed at 7 p.m.
Three children were reported to be in distress in the sea of Ocean View Beach. Officials say family members rescued two of the children about 100 yards away from the fishing pier.
A local TV station reported a dive team started searching the water around 10 p.m. on Saturday. Norfolk Fire and Rescue, Norfolk Police, the Virginia Department of Inland Fisheries and the U.S. Coast Guard all assisted in the search.
According to a tweet from Norfolk Police, the agencies concluded their search above and below the surface of the water near the fishing pier just before 4 p.m. on Sunday.
Family members said the boy who went missing was a 7th grader from North Carolina who was on a birthday trip. Our thoughts are with his family after this terrible tragedy.
Earlier that day, lifeguards performed an operation at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront where five swimmers were reported to be in trouble near 26th Street just before 2 p.m.
Virginia Beach EMS Division Chief Bruce Nedelka told the local media, multiple lifeguards went in the sea to help five people who were struggling. One of the teenage boys was pulled to safety by the lifeguards. Nedelka said he was reported to be unconscious.
Lifeguards performed first aid on the teen until fire and EMS personnel arrived. The teen was taken to a local hospital where advanced life support procedures were carried out on him. The teen was listed as being in a critical condition over the weekend.
Nedelka said rip currents were not present at Virginia Beach at the time of the incident. He said the swimmers were not from the area and did not realize there is a steep drop off after reaching a sandbar.
These two tragic incidents highlight how drowning dangers at the beaches of Hampton Roads are constantly present.
When water conditions are dangerous red flags fly. They fly in rough conditions when rip currents may be present. In these circumstances, swimmers should not go more than knee-deep in the water. If you are caught in a rip current you should swim parallel to the shoreline to try to escape it.
The incidents this weekend illustrate the fact red flags do not have to be flying for swimmers to get into trouble.
Beachgoers can take some important precautions: Always have a fully charged cell phone on the beach with you and know your location in case you need to call 911 to tell dispatchers where you are. Keep an extra watchful eye on your children as they play close to the water’s edge.
During the summer, thousands of people flock to the beaches of Tidewater and the Outer Banks of North Carolina. The beach should be a pleasant and relaxing environment but there are many hidden hazards.
Never swim out of a depth you are comfortable at and avoid vessels like fast-moving water skis. Don’t rely on inflatables and never swim when red flags are flying.
Every year people are injured at the beach. Few people are aware of the drowning dangers at the beaches of Hampton Roads. Tragically, some children never make it home from Virginia Beach, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk or the sands of the Eastern Shore of Virginia.
If another party is responsible for an injury, a lifeguard was negligent in his or her duty or you were injured in any other way, please call Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers at (757) 333-3333.