There aren’t many individuals who would deny that the beach is near the top of the list of their ideal vacation spots. There’s simply something about laying on the beach or swimming through a great ocean that can bring peace to a person’s mind.
Unfortunately, these beautiful pieces of nature have been unable to remain safe due to man’s need for oil. The impact that an oil spill has on the environment is detrimental, but many people don’t realize that swimming in it can also cause great harm.
Lurking in the Water
Most people fear hammerhead sharks and jellyfish when they enter the ocean, yet many may not even notice the fact that they’re surrounded by much more dangerous oil-affected waters. Frighteningly enough, a person doesn’t even have to be submerged in water that’s experienced an oil spill to be negatively affected.
A study released by the American Journal of Medicine actually concluded that individuals working to clean the mess left by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill had increased risks of developing several illnesses such as cancer and leukemia.
Oil spill workers facing serious diseases should make it obvious that swimming within these waters is dangerous. Bacteria within the oil can actually attach to a person’s body if they’re swimming in it and cause serious issues.
In fact, Mississippi resident Steven Hazlehurst experienced chest pain, an inability to catch his breath; bloody urine and vomiting after swimming off the coast of Florida after an oil spill. The quick dip left him with highly elevated chemical levels in his body, and this outcome can occur to anyone who swims in oil-affected waters.
Tips on Staying Safe
There is no “safe” way to swim within waters that are still feeling the effects of an oil spill. The best advice that anyone can take is to rethink their vacation plans or simply stay away from the beach if an inopportune disaster occurs.
It obviously won’t be possible to always change travel plans, but if a beach vacation is hampered by an oil spill, it’s important to remember that these coastal areas are full of great activities, away from the beach, for tourists.
For those who think that an area may be safe to swim in after a long period of time has passed since an oil spill, there is a way to check on the safety. Most coastal towns will have their own websites with news and updates. Local authorities will often alert the public of whether or not the water is safe to go back into.
Once It’s Too Late
Unfortunately, an individual may not realize that they went into the water too soon until it is too late. Had the aforementioned man in Florida known that the waters were unsafe, there is no way he would’ve went in. A person who begins to feel ill after swimming through oil-affected waters should seek immediate medical attention.
Sadly, treating the types of illnesses that come along with this tragedy can get extremely expensive. Luckily, the corporations at fault for these incidents are usually held accountable. An individual would do well to seek out an injury lawyer in an attempt to get financial compensation for what they’ve lost and the future effects that the oil spill will have on them. An accident lawyer in Orlando Florida or your local attorney can help sort through the matter accordingly.
It’s a tragic event when negligence on the part of major corporations wreaks havoc on the world’s ecosystems. Everyone from tourists to local fishermen feel the effects, but those who become ill due to the spill can face a far more tragic outcome.
Because of this, it’s imperative to take safety precautions when visiting an area that may have oil-affected waters; and anyone who becomes sick due to swimming in these areas should seek out immediate legal help.
Jamica Bell is freelance writer and blogger. She contributes this article to highlight potential hazards of swimming in oil impacted waters. For tourist and residents who believe they have been adversely affected by contaminated waters on the Florida coast, consult an accident lawyer in Orlando Florida or any state law professional. If you happen to come in contact with oil infested water in a state other than Florida, seek out a local attorney to which the area the incident took place in.
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