Quicksand doesn't just happen in Hollywood. It happened on a Maine beach | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Quicksand doesn't just happen in Hollywood. It happened on a Maine beach

This photo provided by Patrick Acord shows his wife, Jamie Acord, on Popham Beach, where she sunk to her hips in quicksand, Saturday, June 1, 2024, in Phippsburg, Maine. (Patrick Acord via AP)
Original Publication Date June 06, 2024 - 9:56 AM

PHIPPSBURG, Maine (AP) — A Maine woman enjoying a walk on a popular beach learned that quicksand doesn't just happen in Hollywood movies in jungles or rainforests.

Jamie Acord was walking at the water's edge at Popham Beach State Park over the weekend when she sunk to her hips in a split second, letting out a stunned scream. She told her husband, "I can't get out!"

“I couldn’t feel the bottom," she said. “I couldn’t find my footing.”

Within seconds, her husband had pulled her from the sand trap, the sand filled in, and the stunned couple wondered: What just happened?

It turns out that quicksand, known as supersaturated sand, is a real thing around the world, even in Maine, far from the jungle locations where Hollywood has used it to add drama by ensnaring actors.

Thankfully, real life is not like in the movies.

People who are caught in supersaturated sand remain buoyant — people don’t sink in quicksand — allowing them to float and wriggle themselves to safety, said Jim Britt, spokesperson for the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.

“People hear the word quicksand they think jungle movie. The reality with this supersaturated sand is you’re not going to go under,” he said.

In this case, climate change played a role in the episode at the state's busiest state park beach, which draws more than 225,000 visitors each year, Britt said. A series of winter storms rerouted a river that pours into the ocean, softening the sand in area where beachgoers are more apt to walk, necessitating the placement warning signs by park staff, he said.

Acord took to social media to warn others after her episode on Saturday, when she and her husband, Patrick, were strolling on the beach. Acord was collecting trash, so her hands were full when she sunk.

It all happened so fast she didn’t have time to be scared, but she worries that it would be frightening for someone who was alone, especially a child who might be traumatized. “A kid would be scared," she said.

News from © The Associated Press, 2024
The Associated Press

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