Resident offers umbrella safety tips


OK, I have flying beach-umbrella phobia — ask my Fenwick Island posse. Over the last several decades of enjoying the beach, I have been hit three times (not seriously hurt), several close calls to being hit, and witnessed many other hits and close calls on the beach. I, as well, am guilty as charged of having my own umbrella fly out of the sand last summer just missing someone. It has made me much more aware. These umbrella accidents are not that uncommon; go on, Google it!

Yes, when the heavy wind kicks in, I strategically leave my friends and change my spot on the beach to be of the wind path of oncoming umbrellas. I close my own umbrella. Just recently, in Florida, I witnessed a sand tornado which I have never seen before. Out of nowhere, within seconds, umbrellas were uprooted, flying, and shredded or broken. Three umbrellas just barely missed me. No owners to be found — out to lunch? A friendly beach neighbor came to me and helped me hold my own umbrella down. It wouldn’t have stayed in if he had not been there.

For the safety of yourself and others, please close your umbrella when you walk away and when those heavy winds and gusts kick in. Have a safe and healthy summer!

Missy Lewis

Ocean View