Virginia Beach Fire & Rescue: Don't dig deep holes at the beach this summer

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Posted at 1:17 PM, May 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-18 17:53:56-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - There's nothing like playing in the sand, but digging deep holes at the beach can cause serious danger for you and others.

As we approach beach season, Virginia Beach Fire & Rescue says you don't want to dig holes in the sand. If a hole is too deep, it can collapse — and if you get trapped in the sand, it becomes nearly impossible to breathe.

To put just how heavy sand can be into perspective, if you put sand in just a small 12x12 box, it will weigh about 100 pounds.

And unsurprisingly, 100 pounds collapsing on you will likely kill you.

"When you dig those deep holes, it's kind of recommended that you only dig it as deep as the height of someone's knee so the smallest person in your party - the height of their knee - so if they go in and the sand overtakes them, then they're not going to have any difficulty getting out," Master Firefighter Dave Mauch with the Virginia Beach Fire Department explained.

Over the weekend, one teenager died and another was injured after sand collapsed at a beach in Toms River, New Jersey, while the pair were digging a large hole in the sand.

And sand holes aren't just dangerous to people - they can also be dangerous to our wildlife as well. Sea turtle nesting season begins this month, and the Town of Nags Head says the holes in the sand make it difficult for female sea turtles to lay nests, disrupting hatching.

If you do get stuck in the sand, don't panic. VBFD says they do have the equipment to try and dig a person out, but they say they would have to move very quickly, so make sure you get help right away.

Related: Virginia Beach officials warn of sand hole dangers after woman dies in Ocean City