The VICE Guide to Right Now

Yet Another Woman Was Impaled by a Flying Beach Umbrella

"She was talking and coherent the entire time, despite having this umbrella sticking out of her."

by River Donaghey
Jul 24 2018, 7:02pm

Just last week, a UK tourist visiting New Jersey wound up in the hospital after the wind ripped a beach umbrella out of the sand and sent it flying straight through her ankle. The woman's foot was OK, umbrella wound aside, and the story was mostly just written off as a rare, freak occurrence straight out of a beach-themed Final Destination sequel. But now, it looks like the story isn't as unlikely as it seems, because the whole thing just happened again.

On Sunday, an unsuspecting beachgoer in Maryland was impaled by yet another rogue umbrella and this time, it was a whole lot worse—the umbrella stabbed her straight through the chest, MD Coast Dispatch reports.

The 46-year-old woman from Pennsylvania, who has yet to be named, was relaxing on an Ocean City beach Sunday afternoon when a strong gust of wind uprooted a nearby umbrella. As she sat in her beach chair, the umbrella reportedly sailed toward her, pole first, and impaled her near her left shoulder, under the collar bone.

Instead of freaking out about the whole thing, as one might do when an umbrella is literally puncturing your chest, a witness says the woman was surprisingly chill about the whole ordeal.

"Before we realized what had happened, the lifeguards and other people on the beach were holding the umbrella to stabilize because it was sticking out of her chest," beachgoer Laura Lathroum explained the Dispatch. "She was talking and coherent the entire time, despite having this umbrella sticking out of her. About five minutes later, the paramedics arrived and they literally cut the shaft of the umbrella with a chainsaw.”

The woman was raced to a nearby hospital where the umbrella pole was removed. Butch Arbin of the Ocean City Beach Patrol told the Salisbury Daily Times that the woman is currently in stable condition and said she feels very lucky that the injury wasn't any worse.

Arbin maintained that these beach umbrella horror stories are pretty uncommon, and only happen about once a year on the beach, but acknowledged that "one is still too many." Back in 2015, a man named Ed Quigley lost his eye after being struck by a flying umbrella on a Delaware beach. In 2016, a woman in Virginia died from a similar umbrella accident. It may not be every day that the wind decides to turn a normal-ass beach umbrella into some kind of spear, but it definitely happens, so be careful out there. As if we needed another reason to stay at home with the AC on until fall rolls around.

Sign up for our newsletter to get the best of VICE delivered to your inbox daily.

Follow VICE on Twitter.