Ready for a summer of fun on Mississippi’s Gulf Coast? Over 13 million people visit this beautiful area every year, ready to soak up the sun and make memories. However, with so many people in one place, you’ll also find new unexpected personal injury risks. Knowing the specific risks you face on Mississippi beaches allows you to take the proper precautions to protect yourself and your family.
Learn more about personal injury risks at the beach and take steps to protect your loved ones. If you suffer a personal injury this summer, let us help you through this process. Call Reeves & Mestayer at 228-374-5151 to schedule a meeting now.
Harmful Algae Blooms
One unique risk facing Mississippi visitors is Harmful Algae Blooms, often referred to as HABs. These occur when algae grows and spreads rapidly on the water’s surface, leading to discoloration. Depending on the bacteria causing the bloom, the algae may look like mats, scum, or foam.
These blooms can be very dangerous to you and your pets. The toxins present can cause serious illness in humans and animals, and eating fish from this area can also cause illness. The Mississippi Beach Monitoring Program offers an easy way to check for beach closures and contact advisories. In extreme situations, beaches may close to protect patrons. If the bloom is not that serious, you may simply be warned to be cautious while visiting.
Warm coastal waters are prone to vibrio vulnificus and other vibrio bacteria infestations. While this bacteria can cause illness in anyone, it is particularly harmful for those with compromised immune systems. You can get infected via an open wound or from eating seafood from infected areas. Common outcomes include diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach pain. People with compromised immune systems are at risk of blood infections that can lead to death.
To protect yourself, check yourself and your loved one thoroughly for open cuts or scrapes before entering the water. Stay out of salt and brackish water if there are any open cuts. If you discover a cut after getting out of the water, wash it thoroughly with soap and filtered water. While enjoying fresh seafood, stay away from undercooked oysters and shellfish.
Dangerous Marine Life
The Gulf Shore is home to a thriving ecosystem of marine life. That includes dangerous species. Whenever you visit the beach, familiarize yourself with their flag system so you know what risks are present. Several beaches have a special flag for dangerous marine animals.
The Gulf Shore is most commonly plagued by dangerous jellyfish, which often trigger the “dangerous marine life” flag. Dangerous jellyfish species in this area include the blue button jellyfish, the sea nettle jellyfish, the mauve stinger, and box jellyfish. The most dangerous species include the Portuguese man-of-war and the box jellyfish, whose stings can cause death under certain circumstances.
Other risks present in this area include dangerous fish species, sharks, and sting rays.
Rip currents are a serious risk for everyone visiting the Gulf Shore. No matter how strong of a swimmer you are, a strong current can pull you away from the shore in seconds. People often panic in a strong current and get tired or panicked before they can figure out a way back to shore. To avoid this risk, only choose beaches that are staffed with lifeguards. Before entering the water, look for flat spots along the wave lines. These may be rip currents. Avoid these areas when entering the water.
Hazards in the Sand
Even just walking around on the beach can leave you at risk of injury. Broken glass bottles are a risk during summer, as visitors flock to the beaches and leave their garbage behind. However, you could also injure yourself stepping on sharp rocks or shells. Make sure you and your love ones have durable flip flops or sandals for your walks along the beach.
Contact Reeves & Mestayer for Help With Your Injury Claim
Whether you get hurt on one of Mississippi’s beautiful beaches or during another summer adventure, it’s important to explore your options for compensation. Turn to Reeves & Mestayer to learn more. Call us at 228-374-5151 or reach out to our team online to get started.