ORANGE BEACH, Ala. – A woman was hospitalized on Monday after a gust of wind picked up a beach umbrella and sent it flying, impaling her leg, authorities said.
The incident occurred outside the Phoenix II Condominiums in Orange Beach, WALA-TV reported.
The victim, who was on the beach behind the condominium, was airlifted to an area hospital by Orange Beach Fire Station 1, according to the Orange Beach News.
Orange Beach Deputy Fire Chief Jeff Smith said his department does not remove impaled objects. so fire personnel had to cut both ends of the umbrella rod off and stabilize the victim, WALA reported.
“It was still impaled (in the woman’s leg),” Smith told the Orange Beach News. “I’ll be honest with you, I’ve seen those things blowing down the beach when storms roll up. I’m surprised it hasn’t happened, but I don’t know of any times in the past during my time here. I’ve never responded to one.”
Officials said the woman was recovering from her injury, according to WALA.
Smith added that private tents and umbrellas should be removed from the beach when not in use, so they do not get caught up in any gusty winds.
“The services down there do a good job of trying to remove them when bad weather’s coming in but sometimes when storms pop up, gusts of wind pops up,” Smith told WALA. “It’s happened in the past — not to this extent, but we have had injuries relating to umbrellas in the past.”