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Woman killed after wind whips up beach umbrella and impales her in the chest

Charisa Bossinakis

Published 
| Last updated 

Woman killed after wind whips up beach umbrella and impales her in the chest

Featured Image Credit: Mike.Perreault / Facebook. John Tunney / Alamy Stock Photo

A woman has died after a loose umbrella impaled in the chest at a South Carolina beach.

Tammy Perreault was at Garden City Beach when the umbrella was swept up and struck her around 12.40 pm, according to WMBF News.

After suffering injuries, the 63-year-old woman was transferred to Waccamaw ER, where she was pronounced dead shortly after at 1.33pm.

According to spokesperson for Horry County Emergency Management Thomas Bell, Tammy was helped by off-duty medical professionals and bystanders when the freak accident occurred.

Credit: Mira / Alamy Stock Photo
Credit: Mira / Alamy Stock Photo

Bell told the outlet: “This is a terrible loss, and we know our community is hurting. 

“Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the victim as they navigate through this difficult time.”

Scotty’s Beach Bar in Surfside Beach posted a tribute for Tammy and said the news of her death has been devastating.

“Today with heavy hearts we mourn the loss of a dear friend and kind hearted local, Tammy Perreault," the bar wrote.

“Some things we will never begin to understand but what we do know is no one has a bad thing to say about this woman. To be as sweet as her day in and day out should be a goal for all.”

They added: "If everyone can please keep the Perreault family in your hearts today especially her husband Mike. Mike we love you and are immensely sorry for your loss.. everyone at Scotty's, staff and Scotty's family will continue prayers."

While sitting out on the beach seems like the perfect way to spend the summer, findings from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) reveal that more than 31,000 people have been treated for umbrella-related injuries between 2008 and 2017.

The Virginian Pilot also reported that in 2017, while vacationing at Virginia Beach Oceanfront, 55-year-old Lottie Michelle Belk was struck in the chest by an umbrella and died shortly after.

Following the death of Lottie, US Senators Tim Kaine and Mark Warner of Virginia demanded the safety agency review rules for beach umbrellas and launch an awareness campaign for beachgoers.

President of beachBub, Bill Schermerhorn, advises beachgoers to cover the umbrella’s base with sand to ensure it won't become loose.

"If you are driving in a mountain pass and a boulder rolls down and hits your car, that's a freak accident of nature," he told the BBC. 

"An umbrella that gets unplanted and goes rolling down the beach... it's more likely the result of somebody not properly putting up a beach umbrella."

Topics: News, Health

Charisa Bossinakis
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