ORANGE BEACH, Ala. (WKRG) — A woman was airlifted to USA Hospital Monday morning after a sudden gust of wind came through, picking up and tossing chairs and umbrellas on the beach. An umbrella pierced the woman’s lower leg.
A beach umbrella and a large gust of wind is a dangerous combination and sends a woman to the hospital with life-threatening injuries.
Deputy Chief Jeff Smith said they received a call around 9:30 Monday morning to the Phoenix II West Condominiums on Perdido Beach Boulevard.
“Staff arrived on scene, found the umbrella impaled all the way through the victim’s leg, so they stabilized the victim in a standing position, which is where she was when they arrived, stabilized the injury site, cut the umbrella on both sides of the leg and patched her to transport to USA Hospital,” Smith said.
We found one man who saw what happened, Josh. He also happened to set up the beach umbrellas along the coast.
“Just out of blue, there wasn’t any clouds in the sky,” Josh said. “I got a call from the state park saying the wind was picking up, so I went to shut everything. But then within about 3 minutes, the wind was just here. It was crazy, and there were tents going everywhere, umbrellas, my umbrellas; anybody that weighed less than 60 pounds was just about flying in the air.”
Josh also said that each umbrella has a very sharp, pointy end, and even the smallest gust of wind can be a safety hazard. Josh and Chief Smith said they have never seen a traumatic incident like this one before from an umbrella.
“I’ve been down here for 27 years, and we have had some umbrellas that have impacted people due to high winds,” Smith said. “But to my knowledge, we’ve never ever had an impalement injury.”
“It just happened so quick today and there was just too much and that was the first time that has ever happened” Josh said.
Chief Smith said the woman is in stable condition at USA hospital.