beach umbrella
A women keeps in the shade of her umbrella as she tries to beat the heat at Cardiff State beach in Encinitas, California, July 6, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake

A British woman suffered serious injuries after being impaled by a parasol in New Jersey. Margaret Reynolds was at Seaside Heights when a “force of wind” caused part of the beach umbrella to pierce through her right ankle.

Seaside Heights Assistant Fire Chief William Rumbolo cut the aluminum stretcher from the umbrella’s frame to free the 67-year-old, Borough Police Det. Steve Korman told the Asbury Park Press. Fire crew had to sever the umbrella with a bolt cutter.

Reynolds was rushed to Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune, New Jersey, for treating her injuries. The hospital said Reynolds was in a good condition.

“It was a beautiful day and a gust of wind blew the umbrella," Reynolds said in a statement released by Hackensack Meridian Health on Tuesday. "It was just an accident.”

Social media users reacted to the freak accident, with one eyewitness writing: “This lady had an umbrella go through her leg five feet away from me! There was a strong gust of wind, there were a couple umbrellas flying. One of the corners of a random one went THROUGH HER LEG! That could have been me!”

Wind-propelled umbrellas can cause serious injuries, and here are some tips to follow that can help prevent this type of freak accident.

1. Make sure the umbrella is tilted toward the wind, which will help resist sudden gusts.

2. Plant the umbrella with a back-and-forth motion, not circular.

3. The deeper the umbrella is anchored, the better.

4. Consider leaving the umbrella at home during a particularly windy day.

According to research published in March, a 55-year-old woman died after a windblown beach umbrella hit her in the chest. The umbrella came at such a speed the woman’s companion didn’t even see the object hit her. An autopsy of the victim’s body revealed the umbrella tip stabbed her in the chest, cutting through muscles and cracking ribs.

“If this incident had gone unwitnessed, and the nature of the object was not recognized, the manner of this woman’s death may have been in question,” the authors wrote. “This case provides confirmation that beach umbrellas may cause fatal penetrating blunt force trauma to the chest.”