Beachgoers should not dig deep holes on the beach because of the danger they pose, a Long Beach Island beach patrol warns.
Members of the Harvey Cedars Beach Patrol found a 6-foot hole on the beach Saturday evening, which is prohibited in the municipality.
“We want to remind people that digging holes deeper than knee height of the person digging is prohibited and holes should be filled in,” a posting on the beach patrol’s Instagram account says.
The lifeguards also say that sand collapses have killed dozens of people in the United States and injure many more, adding that the deep holes are also dangerous for emergency vehicles and hinder the work of the beach rake.
A 2007 New England Journal of Medicine report found 31 deaths attributed to collapsed sand holes over a 20-year span.
According to a University of Florida study, between 1990 and 2006, there were 16 sand hole or tunnel deaths in the U.S., compared with 12 fatal shark attacks.
In 2012, a 12-year-old boy was digging a sand tunnel on the beach in Long Branch when it collapsed, trapping him. He later died.