Delaware Surfing Accidents this summer

Discussion in 'Mid Atlantic' started by Swellinfo, Aug 5, 2012.

  1. Swellinfo

    Swellinfo Administrator

    May 19, 2006
    I was called by the Local Newspaper, and asked about why there might be an increase in surfing accidents this summer in Delaware. Apparently there have been much more then normal, as reported by the hospital.

    I told them that there was nothing abnormal about the wave action this summer, but I thought that the beach replenishments might be responsible. (I'm sure the towns would be glad to hear me say that - sarcasm). I described how the replenishment destroys the sandbars and make for more shorebreak type waves that are more conducive for injuries. I based this on zero research on injury data, but I think its clear to most surfers when they see the before and after effects of replenishment on the sandbars.

    Firstly, I wasn't aware there were more surfing injuries this year. Have other Delaware surfers seen this? Also, do you agree with my suggestion that the replenishments may be at fault?
  2. snapper

    snapper Member

    Oct 5, 2009

    No doubt that has an impact on the injuries. I would suspect that the majority of the injured weren't surfing, but "boogie boarding". I took my kids down to the beach last week. The swell was running 1-2 feet. We are in Monmouth County, a spot of continued beach replenishment. The surf was absolutely dangerous, literally breaking on dry sand. I saw some kids boogie boarding that were getting absolutely drilled into the sand. I'm surprised non of them broke their necks!! The lifeguards seemed unaware of the situation. Based on the swell size they had the green flags flying, meaning all safe. IT definitely creates a serious hazard for the unexperienced, especially if anyone gets caught in a rip because of the sudden drop off to deep water only five feet from shore.

  3. staystoked

    staystoked Well-Known Member

    Dec 27, 2009
    if it will bring us any closer to artificial reefs, then yeah.... beach replenishment is to be blamed for injuries.
  4. superbust

    superbust Well-Known Member

    Nov 2, 2008
    Been saying it for years. Replenishment is TRASH!!! It is a short-term, extremely costly, minimally thought out solution to a never ending problem. We need more sand pumped offshore for those bars to reform, then we can pump sand onto the beach. I guard in North Bethany and to say the least Ive seen some pretty horrendous shore break and stronger rips this year. Army Corps is a bunch of idiots. Lets start a petition against this bs...youre completely right Micah
  5. superbust

    superbust Well-Known Member

    Nov 2, 2008
    Agreed, the tourists only know how to ride straight in and when you get that special 2 foot set jacking up and exploding on shore you have that boogier going head first into the sand. We have a drop off about 10 feet out in bethany that goes from knee deep to chest. So tired of this nonsense.
  6. Swellinfo

    Swellinfo Administrator

    May 19, 2006
    I'm not going to pretend that I know all of the obstacles of the beach replenishment options as far as what works the best for maintaining a beach and cost effectiveness, but they really should consider the safety impact...

    I went to the beach with my friend's family who has a 7 year old boy. The waves were small, but just surging on the beach and little kids (and adults) were getting pounded left and right.

    Do you think the town's are just thinking $$, and don't even consider safety issues are an after thought?

    Maybe we will eventually get to offshore reefs?
  7. andrewk529

    andrewk529 Well-Known Member

    Sep 3, 2010
    I haven't seen any concrete studies indicating a direct correlation between the beach replenishment and surfing(body boarding) related injuries. But there are many articles regarding this topic as well as anecdotal evidence.. I think it is obvious to anyone who surfs in DE. I have seen Dewey Beach destroyed multiple times from the replenishment as well as OCMD.
  8. NoSponges

    NoSponges Well-Known Member

    May 4, 2008
    Most likely the toll was highest at SSide IR, the favorite spot for sponges.
  9. Mitchell

    Mitchell Well-Known Member

    Jan 5, 2009
    I know Beebe Hospital has been collecting ocean injury data for a couple of years and trying to compare the time and location of the injuries to risk factors, including things like beachfill proximity, wave heights and periods n the nearshore buoys, beach slope, what activity the victim was doing.

    Depending on how you define surfing, I'd think the majority of it is done in Delaware at spots that aren't nourished, like cape and IRI. If they include tourists riding a ten dollar sponge in the surf then yeah, the coarse grained beachfill is a major factor. I was on the beach in Dewey the other day on a day with some swell and kept cringing watching middle aged guys slamming themselves up onto the beach on their hard slicks.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2012
  10. shark-hunter

    shark-hunter Well-Known Member

    Apr 29, 2012
    Common sense would tell you that a large wave breaking onto dry sand is DANGEROUS. Sort of like diving into the shallow end of a pool! A recipe for serious injuries. The lifeguards seem totally oblivious to this. As far as data for surfing injuries go, 99% of surfers won't surf that anyway so you might not see huge increase in those injuries, but an increase in injuries in tourists boogie boarding or even swimming/body surfing.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2012
  11. super fish

    super fish Well-Known Member

    Sep 2, 2008
    i am sure they used their common sense why, but wanted micahs input for their article since he owns a surf forecast site. but yeah, they're all about the big faces
  12. WaterSandwich

    WaterSandwich Member

    Jan 17, 2010
    As a lifeguard, year round surfer and paramedic in Sussex County, I have seen my fair share of spinal and surf injuries. Most of the time these people are completely oblivious to the waves, turn their back to the ocean, either hit their head or the weight of their head going backwards as the rest of the body drives forward causes an injury. It's pretty amazing. As a guard, I educate the people on my beach everyday. Every single lifeguard stand has a sign posted about the dangerous shorebreak on our beaches. Every day I call the patrons in from the water, gather them around the stand, and talk about the statistics of our shore break and spinal injuries. Sure there are some lifeguards that completely do not care. Please to not generalize us. This year I have not had a spinal injury near my stand. I have had them plenty before though. We cannot prevent everything. We cannot see everything. Accidents are going to happen. As a paramedic, I hear and see calls go out constantly for surf related injuries. We have kids, adults, elderly all becoming paralyzed on vacation. We have had fatalities from broken necks. It seems that the state tries to turn their head at these facts. There is no doubt that the massive shorebreak contributes to these injuries. It's common sense. If the water is barreling into the sand with no water to cushion underneath, you are going to receive more injuries then if the wave was barreling into even 3 ft of water. I would love to see something else done about this. Artificial reefs seem to be working elsewhere although there's not too many studies to support it (just yet). My gut tells me the state is too influenced by the business and property owners and their $$$ then to really care about the people it's supposed to be looking out for.
  13. shark-hunter

    shark-hunter Well-Known Member

    Apr 29, 2012
    In florida, they do all kinds of replenishment, yet no shore pound! A sandbar still exists.
    Can someone please explain why?

    I'm not an expert on replenishment, But I have a simple question. Why not pump some of the sand onto the sandbar at the same time you're pumping onto the beach and make sure to use the right type of sand. And pump it angularly. That would help protect the coastal property. The sandbar your creating helps protect since waves lose some of their energy off of that rather than slamming right onto the beach.
  14. GoodVibes

    GoodVibes Well-Known Member

    Jun 29, 2008
    When I broke my ribs last year it was like dead high tide.Matter of fact my broken rib anniversary is this Wednesday.
  15. funkyspec

    funkyspec Well-Known Member

    Jul 19, 2012
    Yeah, beach replenishment sucks because it messes with the normal barrier island hydrodynamics preventing sand bars from forming. Of course, our family's 1st floor oceanfront condo on 130th st in ocmd would be underwater right now if ocmd's replenishment never happened. But, man, 10 years ago I could get really fun waves right out front. I walked to my local break. Sweet! Now, unridable shore pound.

    I hope the reporter does his job and contacts some of the local beach patrols. I know they keep rescue stats and it would be good to see before and after rescue/injury data for places like OCMD that underwent beach replenishment.

    I'd also like to read to article when it comes out, so admin, can you post here if it ever gets published? Thanks.
  16. shark-hunter

    shark-hunter Well-Known Member

    Apr 29, 2012
    That guy cowan and donnely they quoted are either manipulators or have no idea what their talking about. It reminds me of the propoganda that's written every time there's a shark attack trying to promote shark conservation with lies.

    Going swimming/boogie boarding/surfing is more dangerous in shore pound. DUH! How stupid are these people?
    It's like trying to argue that diving in the shallow end is just as safe as diving in the deep end. MORONS!

    Obviously just politics involved here.
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2012
  17. SkegLegs

    SkegLegs Well-Known Member

    Feb 8, 2009
    It's just morons running each other over at the naval jetty.
  18. ocsurf32

    ocsurf32 Well-Known Member

    Jul 22, 2012
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  19. cresto4

    cresto4 Well-Known Member

    Aug 19, 2010