Australian Tourist Falls Into Pier Checking Facebook; Cannot Swim But Holds Onto Phone In Water

 @ammiet1a.tate@ibtimes.com on December 18 2013 10:40 AM
iPad Facebook
A Facebook user navigates via iPad. Reuters

Checking your phone while driving is dangerous and even illegal in many U.S. states, but it seems that walking while looking at your phone should be banned too. On Monday night, a Taiwanese woman visiting Australia fell off St. Kilda’s pier into Port Phillip Bay while she was looking at Facebook on her phone.

The woman, who is not able to swim, was rescued after a witness saw the incident and notified police. They were able to rescue her in a speedboat after she was found floating several yards away from the pier.

While the average person might release their personal belongings and focus on their safety, this tourist continued to hold onto her phone even while in the water.

"She was still out in the water lying on her back in a floating position because, she told us later, she couldn't swim," Senior Constable Dean Kelly of the water police said, according to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

"She still had her mobile phone in her hand, and initially she apologized... She said, 'I was checking my Facebook page on the phone and I've fallen in'."

The woman was later taken to the hospital for observation, and police said she will be fine.

Her experience illustrates the hazards of using social media or being on your phone while outdoors, with texting-while-driving one of the most dangerous. According to adcouncil.org, the average text takes a driver’s eyes off the road for nearly five seconds, which is enough time at average speed to cover the length of a football field. Texting while driving makes a driver 23 times more likely to crash, and companies such as AT&T have created campaigns encouraging drivers to avoid using their phone while driving. 

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