Oceans have become TOXIC to humans, rendering beach-goers unable to breathe

Friday, September 6, 2019
By Paul Martin

by: Isabelle Z.
Friday, September 06, 2019

In England, people headed to their local beaches in droves to enjoy the bank holiday weekend August 25 and say goodbye to summer in unusual 92-degree heat – but many of them ended up seeing firsthand just how dangerous ocean pollution can be.

Around 150 people got sick after going to beaches along the country’s Essex Coast, with 14 ending up in the hospital. The beaches affected were Walton-on-the-Naze, Clacton, and Frinton-on-Sea. According to the Met Office, it was the hottest August bank holiday weekend ever, and the record-breaking temperatures inspired hundreds of families to pass their day at the beach.

Beachgoers experienced symptoms such as trouble breathing, burning eyes and noses, coughing and vomiting, with the first reports rolling in at around 2:00 in the afternoon. One woman said her twin daughters were left “gasping for breath,” reporting that breathing in was painful; one of them couldn’t even speak. Moving further away from the beach seemed to lessen their symptoms somewhat, but they sought medical treatment nevertheless.

Countless children were seen coughing as they emerged from the water, and beach patrols came to tape off some areas. Emergency crews and ambulances rushed to the seafront area to assist those who were affected.

Although no one has gotten sick since the initial outbreak, beachgoers have been advised to avoid the water as the investigation into the cause of the illness continues. Some of the beachgoers have stated that they saw a haze in the air and recalled smelling fumes.

The cause of the illness is not yet known. Water samples were collected for testing, and the results are pending. Rumors circulated that a fuel spillage from a boat was to blame, but the country’s Maritime and Coastguard Agency has not found any evidence of such a spill, despite sending out counter-pollution surveillance aircraft to fly over the area.

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