Remember going to the beach every summer and how your older cousins insisted that it would be FUN to be buried up to your neck in sand? And they didn't mean fun for everyone. They meant fun for you and only you ... oh so lucky you. And as the last bucket of sand was packed around your chin and that one meanie cousin pretend-threatened to shovel sand into your mouth, you wondered how the heck you got talked into this awful game in the first place. And then the intense claustrophobia set in.
Burying our kids, friends, and family up to their necks in sand is a popular beach tradition that seriously needs to go away. Not convinced? Hear how one teen almost died playing this game with his friends.
Jakub Maly, a 19-year-old Austrian Olympic team swimmer -- that's right, he is 19 and an Olympic swimmer -- almost died after he and his friends dug a huge 7-foot-deep hole on a Florida beach and he decided to jump down inside.
Upon doing so, the walls of the hole caved in and completely buried the teen! His teammates dug like crazy to free his face so he could at least breathe, but sand continued to fill the hole. Sixty rescuers, several boards for holding back the sand, and two hours later, Maly was freed from the hole.
Okay, granted this was the ocean where sand is much more moist and unstable, not a lake or riverside, and I hope most parents are smart enough not to let kids play the "bury game" anywhere near an unpredictable ebb and flow in the first place. But still! Would you ever have thought such a thing could happen? And couldn't it potentially happen in any sand hole? I am beside myself with sand hole fear now.
Maly's swim coach talked to him the entire time, making certain he remained conscious. A witness said, "At times, he thought he was going to lose the boy."
Maly is recovering and has returned to his home in Austria; however, doctors still have concerns about injuries to his legs and kidneys.
Not fun. Nope.
Do you like to bury (or be buried) your friends and family at the beach? Does this story change your mind about the safety of this game?
Image via David Barrie/Flickr