Entries in beach (12)


Massachusetts Shark Sends Kayaker Running ‘Like a Little Child’

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(CAPE COD, Mass.) -- Walter Szulc will likely never forget the first time he went kayaking thanks to the great white shark that appeared directly behind him, trailing his kayak.

He was kayaking 100-150 yards off the waters of Cape Cod, Mass., on Saturday when hundreds of beachgoers saw the shark’s dorsal fin about 10 feet behind him.  People began to point in Szulc’s direction while yelling “shark.”

A nearby surfer watched in horror as the 12-to-14 foot great white approached.  Szulc credits that surfer for saving his life because he was the first person to point out the shark.

“I looked back and that’s when the shark was right behind me,” Szulc said.

More than 3,000 swimmers at Nauset Beach were asked to get out of the water when the shark was sighted.

“Everyone was very relaxed and the shark put on quite a show moving back and forth out in front of the beach, but it was done in a very orderly fashion,” Harbormaster Dawson Farber said.

It was the third great white sighting in Cape Cod in the past couple of weeks.  The sharks are drawn to the area because of a huge spike in the seal population. Seals are essentially shark bait.

Author Jonathan Kathrein, who survived a shark attack, said the fear of sharks is overrated.

“The reality is sharks aren’t trying to eat people and statistically in almost every shark attack, the person who’s attacked survives,” Kathrein said.

Szulc credits his own survival to instinct.

“I just reacted.  I thought it was either it or I’m getting in so I just paddled like no tomorrow,” he said.  “I kind of ran out of the water like a little child.”

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Shark Sighting Off San Diego Coast Closes Beach

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(SAN DIEGO) -- It was a scene out of the movie Jaws Monday  as beach-goers spotted a 14-foot great white shark about 50 yards off the San Diego coast, prompting the  popular swimming beach  to close.

San Diego Lifeguard Lt. Greg Buchanan told ABC News the shark was seen Monday around 3 p.m. by eight onlookers, who noticed a dorsal fin poking above the water’s surface.

“We immediately closed the beach and searched throughout the night through sunset for the shark, but saw nothing else,” Buchanan said.

No further sightings of the great white shark had been reported as of Tuesday morning, he said.

Buchanan said sharks were common in the area, and that swimmers should always be cautious while in the water.

The La Jolla Shores in San Diego has since reopened to swimmers and surfers in time for the Fourth of July holiday.

Large crowds are expected to visit the beach for the holiday Wednesday, but Buchanan said that it would be “business as usual.”

“We always increase our lifeguards by 25 percent for the holiday itself,” he said. “Due to the activity and the crowds, basically we will try to be there and ready to deploy with any speed if there’s another sighting.”

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Rocks Found on California Beach Catch Fire in Woman's Pocket

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A California mother is recovering from second- and third-degree burns after colored rocks her family collected from a southern California beach unexpectedly caught fire while in her shorts pocket.

"We were talking about who was going to pick up the babysitter," Lyn Hiner said Friday on ABC's Good Morning America.  "And all of a sudden something hot on my leg just sort of started to bother me so I started thinking it was a bug bite, so I started slapping it and the next thing I know my pants were on fire."

The harmless-looking, green- and orange-colored rocks, which Hiner's daughters found Saturday on San Onofre State Beach in southern California, are now the subject of an intense scientific investigation.

Hiner had put the rocks in her pocket after they left the beach.  As she and her husband, Rob Hiner, were preparing to go out later that evening, the rocks suddenly erupted in her pants.

Rob Hiner, who appeared on GMA alongside his wife at the Santa Ana, Calif., burn center where she is being treated, said the couple had no idea what was happening.

"It was just this bright intense flame," he said.  "We didn't know what it was.  Our first response was just to try to pat it out."

"But, in trying to pat it out, it wasn't going out so the next thing was just to try and drop and roll and eventually we just tried to tear her shorts off and got them off of her," he said.

Fire authorities responded to smoke alarms in the couple's home that were set off because the flames in Lyn Hiner's pockets were so intense.

"There were actual flames coming off of her cargo shorts," Orange County Fire Authority Capt. Marc Stone told ABC News.  "The husband was outside with a garden hose, actually trying to cool her leg down."

The couple were eventually taken to the Grossman Burn Center, where Lyn Hiner continues to recover from the severe burns on her hands and leg.

Lynn's husband, Rob, suffered burns on his hands in the incident while trying to come to his wife's aid.

Scientists investigating the mysterious explosion say there were seven rocks in total that the Hiner children took from the beach.  Field tests found traces of phosphorus -- the flammable orange chemical used in matches -- on the rocks.

The beach where the rocks were collected is near Camp Pendleton Marine base.  But Marine officials say there's no evidence any military materials were involved.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Shannan Gilbert Search: Female Accessories Found at NY Shore

STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images(SUFFOLK COUNTY, N.Y.) -- Investigators have firmly linked evidence found in a search near Long Island, N.Y., beaches to Shannan Gilbert, who disappeared in 2010 near the swampy area that Suffolk County Police have searched for three days, officials told ABC News.

Searchers found a woman's purse and shoes after they donned wet suits to comb the swampy area, sources said.

The evidence they found did not include human remains, the sources added.

A medical examiner's team was on the scene Wednesday, but sources said remains discovered during the search were identified as animal remains.

Reports that human remains were found were inaccurate, multiple officials told ABC News. Reports that a woman's stockings were found were also inaccurate.

Investigators have opened the purse and examined its contents, but would not discuss in advance of a media briefing what they believe firmly linked the evidence to Gilbert. Media reports have suggested the purse may have contained identification.

Currently, Gilbert is believed to be a missing person and not the victim of either an apparent serial killer believed to have dumped numerous corpses by the shore beach or of another killer.

However, because the remains have not been found and homicide cannot be completely ruled out, investigators face a dilemma over what information can be released. Were the case to be a homicide, under the law, authorities would be strictly limited on what they could release.

Ten sets of dismembered human remains have been found in the area, believed to be the work of a single serial killer who dumped his victims' bodies there.

In fact, there is a strong likelihood that Gilbert was not murdered at all, sources said, but was a victim of cold water and strong currents after possibly falling in to the water.

On the night of her disappearance, witnesses told police Gilbert did not appear to be acting rationally. She was last seen in May 2010 apparently running from someone near the search area.

The renewed effort began Monday under FBI direction and using information gleaned from past FBI flyovers with sensitive photography equipment able to see down through ground cover.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Navy Training Mine Washes Ashore in Miami

File photo/ Stockbyte/Thinkstock(MIAMI) -- Beachgoers on Miami Beach got a scare Monday when they discovered what looked like a Navy mine that had washed ashore.

That’s exactly what it was, an inert Navy training mine known as an MK-57 that had likely separated from its anchor offshore. The four- to five-foot-long devices are painted white with red stripes, which Dougherty says identifies them as training devices.

“There were no explosive components on the device,” said Bill Dougherty, a spokesman for the Navy’s Southeast region.

Dougherty credited beachgoers with doing the right thing in taking precautions around the device.

“We give people the message that when they find something like that on the beach, step away from it,” said Dougherty.  “Contact the police and they’ll contact us, and we’ll send our experts to check it out and take appropriate action.”

Miami Beach Fire and Rescue evacuated the beach around 56 Street and Collins Avenue until investigators could determine whether the device posed a safety hazard.

Dougherty said that once the device was identified as an inert training mine, a Navy team arrived to take it to a Navy facility in Fort Lauderdale.

According to Dougherty, Florida has various offshore training areas that are used to help Navy personnel identify mines in the water. He says it’s unclear how the mine ended up on the beach. "We don’t really know how it broke loose.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Mysterious Giant Lego Man Washes Up on Florida Beach

Sarasota County Sheriff's Office(SARASOTA, Fla.) -- The life-sized figure of a man made of Lego pieces was found washed up on a Florida beach Tuesday, and people are scratching their heads as they try to figure out where it came from and what it could possibly mean.

Jeff Hindman reportedly found the bright red, yellow and green “man” as Hindman walked on the Siesta Key Beach in Sarasota County around 7 a.m., according to a report in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

The fiberglass figure measures about 8 feet tall and weighs about 100 pounds, according to the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office.  In a press release, the department said it had taken the giant Lego man “into protective custody.”

The front of the figure’s bright green “torso” bears the message: “NO REAL THAN YOU ARE.”  On the back appears the numeral “8″ and the words “Ego Leonard.”

Ego Leonard is apparently the alter ego of a Dutch artist.  A visit to the website, “Prescription Art,” shows a gallery of paintings for sale that all feature the Lego figure alongside messages such as “I Love You,” “Play by the Rules” and, coincidentally, “No Real Than You Are.”

A message on the site, purportedly from the mysterious Ego, reads: “My name is Ego Leonard and according to you I come from the virtual world. A world that for me represents happiness, solidarity, all green and blossoming, with no rules or limitations. Lately however, my world has been flooded with fortune-hunters and people drunk with power. And many new encounters in the virtual world have triggered my curiosity about your way of life. I am here to discover and learn about your world and thoughts …”

Other large Lego figures have previously washed up on beaches in England and Holland.

The Siesta Key Beach figure "is being kept in a secure environment until his owner comes forward,” the police statement added.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Teen Rescued after Sand Tunnel Collapses

ABC News(NEWPORT BEACH, Calif.) -- A day at the beach turned into a terrifying ordeal for a Newport Beach, Calif. teen who became trapped when the outsized sand tunnel he was digging with a friend caved in on him.

Video that was shot Wednesday at the scene shows beachgoers flocking towards the collapsed sand tunnel to help save the boy, identified as 17-year-old Matt Mina. More than 30 minutes passed before firefighters were able to pull the victim out because of the "precarious and unstable nature of the sand," according to Jennifer Schulz of the Newport Beach Fire Department.

The boy had dug two holes with a friend prior to the collapse and they were tunneling towards each other just before he found himself entrapped.

Schulz said in a statement, "Suddenly, the tunnel caved in and collapsed on the one boy completely burying him under the sand. One family member alerted the lifeguard while other beachgoers immediately jumped in and began digging with any utensils available on the beach."

Dirk Vanderwall was among those that darted towards the boy to help the rescue effort.

"It was very frantic," Vanderwall told ABC affiliate KABC. "We knew somebody was buried there. We didn't know how old the person was. But as we kept digging it was longer and longer, it took a long time, you just start thinking it couldn't be going well."

Footage shows the crowd erupting with cheers as the boy emerges alive and is taken to a nearby hospital where he was treated, He managed to escape with no injuries.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Most Americans Think Toplessness at Certain Beaches is Acceptable

Polka Dot/Jupiterimages(NEW YORK) -- A new beach etiquette survey of approximately 1,100 U.S. travelers by reveals 78 percent of respondents say they're okay with women going topless at beach and resort destinations where the practice is culturally acceptable.

Six percent of those surveyed said “European” sunbathing is acceptable at any beach of pool.

Additional findings from the survey:
- 60 percent of respondents want child-free zones at beaches.
- 72 percent want child-free zones at pools.
- Loud music was ranked as the most annoying beach behavior, followed by intoxication and littering.
- Loud music was also ranked the most annoying practice at pools, followed by chair-hogging.
- 85 percent say it’s a sign of poor etiquette when people get up early at resorts to leave towels and personal belongings on chaises to “save them" even though they don’t plan to use them for hours.
- Respondents say Miami Beach has the worst-behaved beachgoers.  But the worst beachgoers in Miami Beach aren’t Florida residents.  Survey respondents rank tourists from New York and New Jersey as the worst individuals on Miami Beach.
- At a crowded beach, 28 percent of respondents say six feet is the closest acceptable distance between you and a stranger’s blanket.  Another 28 percent say three feet is the closest acceptable distance.
- 34 percent say it’s a violation of proper etiquette for a man to wear a Speedo.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Long Island Serial Killer: Dive Teams Prep to Search Water

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Police dive teams are prepping for an underwater search of bays near a barrier island off New York's Long Island area where at least nine bodies have already been found.

Teams in Suffolk County are checking the waterways, but bad weather might prevent the scuba teams from carrying out their dives Wednesday, Suffolk County police said.

The use of scuba teams are an indication that police fear even more bodies could be hidden in the remote area near some of the area's most popular beaches.

Police are also considering chopping down the thick brush throughout the area that has made the seach so difficult, despite the use of cadaver dogs, horses, fire truck aerial ladders and a helicopter. Police fear that when the brush starts blooming in the coming weeks the search would become even more difficult.

The hunt for bodies and clues has grown to a small army of 125 police from Long Island, state police and FBI specialists.

It was revealed on Tuesday that the serial killer who dumped his victim's bodies in the thick brush along several miles of the Long Island beachfront may have dismembered several of them, law enforcement authorities have told ABC News.

ABC News has also learned that at least one of the victims died by "homicidal asphyxiation," which could mean strangulation or being smothered.

The grisly twist were the latest revelations as police continued to uncover the trail of bodies left there by at least one killer.

Investigators have determined that bones found Monday were human, bringing the body count to nine and possibly 10 victims. It's still not clear whether a skull found alone Monday was part of victim number nine or would be victim number 10.

The bodies were strung out over a 3.5-mile stretch of beach with five of the bodies spaced out about 500 feet apart, police said.

While at least several of the victims appear to have been killed and dumped by a serial killer, authorities had not yet ruled out the possibility that more than one killer was responsible for the growing pile of human remains, which included those of a child. 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Pilot Makes Emergency Landing on Beach Near JFK

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Residents near Rockaway beach in Queens, N.Y. were in for an odd sight Monday night. A small, single-engine plane made an emergency landing there, just miles from JFK airport. The pilot, 24-year-old Jason Maloney, seemed uncharacteristically relaxed throughout the ordeal, even joking with air traffic control.

The plane landed safely, and none of its two passengers were injured, including a 21-year-old woman and a 22-year-old man. According to the recording, Maloney asked for permission to land in shallow water, telling the air traffic controller, "This might be crazy, but are we allowed to land on the beach?"

The pilot originally reported that he had a sick passenger, but then later admitted that he had got the idea from Flying Wild Alaska, a reality show on the Discovery channel. The Federal Aviation Administration said the pilot "reported a rough-running engine." Or, as Maloney stated, because his engine was "a little teeeensy bit rough."

In the startlingly casual exchange, Maloney responded "roger" several times to the air traffic controller, but pronouncing it "rod-jahhh," stretching out its syllables.

His cavalier attitude continued, as he told the controller, "Just let me know if we're up in your grill, you know." Both passengers and pilot survived the incident without injury but the Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the matter.

A partial transcript: Pilot: hey tower, I got a question for ya Controller: go ahead. Pilot: this might be crazy, but are we allowed to land on the beach? Controller: you mean you want me to follow the shoreline at below 500 feet? Pilot: roger Pilot: Just let me know if we're up in your grill, you know".

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio