Woman pierced in chest by beach umbrella

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A woman visiting a Maryland beach on Sunday was accidentally impaled in the chest by a beach umbrella, making it the second incident of its kind in a week.

Media outlets report Ocean City Beach Patrol Capt.

An Ocean City spokeswoman, Jessica Waters, said the accident occurred at about 15:00 (19:00 GMT) on Sunday afternoon.

The 46-year-old was hit by someone else's rental umbrella near 54th Street just after 3 p.m.

According to local authorities, the woman was struck in the chest by the umbrella on the beach.

Ms Waters said: "Witnesses said one gust lifted the umbrella". The Washington Post reported that the umbrella took off in a gust of wind.

Beachgoers are supposed to plant their umbrellas 18 to 24 inches bellow the sand - and make sure they are folded when closed. Waters said her injuries were non life-threatening.

Beach experts said that if an umbrella hurts somebody and it could be determined that you own the umbrella or rented and adjusted it after the operator put it in the sand, you can be held at fault.

She said the beach patrol tries to inform visitors of the importance of not leaving the umbrellas unattended. She was flown on a Maryland State Police helicopter to a nearby hospital so that doctors could perform X-rays to determine the best way to remove it.

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