A woman suffered horrific burns when she stepped on hot sand four hours after a barbecue had been extinguished.
The victim needed to be helped from the beach by coastguards and was taken to Morriston Hospital, in Wales, for emergency treatment after receiving serious burns to the sole and side of her foot.
She now faces months of recovery and rehabilitation.
Her experience has prompted coastguards to issue a warning about the use of disposable barbecues on the beach during the summer months.
The victim, who didn't want to be named, said: “I was enjoying a day at the beach with family, which included barbecue food which was cooked safely on three throwaway barbecues on the sand.
“Shortly after cooking had finished the barbecues were put out and left to cool. Over four hours later we decided to pack up and leave and return to the campsite.”
She said the barbecues were stone cold by this point.
"We started removing them in order to dispose of them," she continued.
"But after the first was picked up I went to pick up the second, and stepped forward, while barefoot, onto the sand that the first had been on.
“This resulted in partial and full thickness burns to both the sole and side of my foot, having to wait for the coastguard to get me off the beach, and admission to Morriston Hospital burns unit.
“There I underwent debriding, which is removal of the blisters and dead skin, very strong pain relief, intravenous antibiotics for the resulting infection, daily cleaning and dressing of the burns, with skin grafts to follow.
“Most of us have heard warnings of burying barbecue coals in the sand, due to sand being excellent at retaining heat.
“Well the same applies to barbecues that have been placed directly on sand. Ours had been put out for over four hours.
“I’m just glad it wasn’t any of the children who were with us, or even someone else after we had left the beach.
“Sea water was poured onto the sand nearly five hours later and it boiled and evaporated on contact.”
The incident happened on Tor Bay on Gower, in Swansea, on the afternoon of Saturday, June 29.
The Oxwich Coastguard rescue team responded to the incident, and administered first aid to the victim, before helping her from the beach.
A HM Coastguard spokesman said the agency is advising members of the public to be very careful when clearing up their disposable barbecues on the beach.
He added: “The sand retains heat from these barbecues and this lady sustained significant injuries when stepping onto sand underneath where the barbecue had been four hours after the barbecue had been put out.
“It’s the hot sand that caused these injuries, and not the barbecue.”
The agency has published images of her injuries, as a warning with more hot weather forecast and school holidays approaching.
The spokesman added: “People need to be careful when clearing up at the beach, and always watch where your little ones and your dogs may be walking if you’ve been having a barbecue at the beach.
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