Warning over disposable barbecues on Norfolk beaches after woman is badly burnt
PUBLISHED: 14:47 11 July 2019 | UPDATED: 16:59 11 July 2019
Coastguards covering a stretch of the Norfolk coast have warned holidaymakers and day trippers to get rid of disposable barbecues properly after a woman suffered serious burns.
As the summer season gets in to full swing and beaches are packed, Cromer and Sheringham Coastguards are concerned about throwaway barbecues being buried in the sand.
They have shared the story of a woman in Wales who posted pictures on social media showing burns she suffered after a barbecue on the beach.
Ruth Jenkins, from Swansea, had been enjoying a family day out when she suffered the partial and full thickness burns on the sole and side of her foot after she left barbecues to cool.
She said: "The BBQs were stone cold and we started removing them in order to dispose of them.
"After the first was picked up I stepped forward (barefoot) to pick up the second, on to the sand that the first had been on."
"None of us thought the sand would retain the heat for that long."
Mrs Jenkins added: "Most of us have heard warnings of burying BBQ coals in the sand, this is due to sand being excellent at retaining heat. Well, the same applies to BBQs that have been placed directly on sand, ours had been put out for over four hours.
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"I'm just glad it wasn't any of the children who were with us or even someone else after we had left the beach. Sea water was poured on to the sand nearly four hours later and it boiled and evaporated on contact."
She had to be helped off the beach by coastguards and is still receiving hospital treatment, including skin grafts, and faces months of rehab.
Mrs Jenkins said: "I'm posting this from my hospital bed in the hope that it prevents at least one person from going through the same."
Cromer and Sheringham Coastguards said: "Disposable BBQs on the beach, please dispose of them correctly and just don't bury them."
Advice to people on using barbecues on a beach is;
*Try to keep them safely above the sand, on purpose built stands or rocks;
*Do not assume that a cold barbecue means the sand is safe;
*Ensure the sand underneath is completely cooled as soon as possible and definitely before you leave the beach;
*Be aware of anyone walking near the affected sand, especially children and dogs.