Pennsylvania Woman Impaled by Beach Umbrella in Maryland's Ocean City

A woman was struck in the chest by a beach umbrella in Maryland.
Beachgoers have increasingly been warned about the dangers of unattended beach umbrellas. Beach Umbrella Safety Organization

The unidentified female was struck in the chest by a beach umbrella.

A Pennsylvania woman has been hospitalized after a freak accident sent a windblown beach umbrella into her chest, authorities said.

The 46-year-old was relaxing on the sand in Maryland's Ocean City when gusts blew an unattended rental umbrella down the beach, impaling her.  

The unidentified tourist is in stable condition with non-life-threatening injuries, Ocean City Beach Patrol spokeswoman Jessica Waters told Monday.

Lifeguards and local firefighters treated the woman at the scene Sunday afternoon and cut off the top of the shade device so she could be transported by helicopter to a local hospital, Waters said. 

The injury marked the second time in one week that a beachgoer has been injured by an umbrella's shaft that had become a projectile in high winds. 

A 67-year-old woman in New Jersey suffered an injured ankle when an aluminum umbrella stand went all the way through her leg. Her name and condition were not released.

Experts warn umbrellas should be embedded at least 16 inches into the sand and face into the wind. A circular motion should not be used to propel the shaft into the sand.