A leisurely stroll along Popham Beach State Park in Phippsburg, Maine, took an unexpected turn for Jamie Acord, who found herself suddenly sinking waist-deep into what seemed like quicksand. Recounting the incident to NBC affiliate WCSH, Acord described the experience as both shocking and swift. “I just dropped like a rock,” she said. “I was there and then the next minute I wasn’t.”

Her husband quickly intervened, pulling her to safety. The ordeal left Acord with only a few minor scrapes, but the surprise and fear of the moment lingered. “It was kind of one of those moments where I didn’t know what to do. This is a new thing that’s never happened before,” she told PEOPLE. After being rescued, the couple looked back at the spot where she had been trapped, only to find it appeared normal again. “It looked just like the beach. It had filled itself right back in,” Acord added.

After she found herself in waist-deep sand, she recalled telling her husband, “I can’t get out,” per the Associated Press.

Following the scare, Acord changed out of her sand-covered clothes and took to social media to share her experience, hoping to alert others, especially those who frequent the beach alone during less busy hours. She expressed concern about the potential dangers of such unexpected traps. “If the beach is clearing out, there’s only one or two people on the beach and you fall in something like that and you don’t know what to do or you can’t get out, you’re kind of stuck,” she warned.

Officials from the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry responded to the incident, confirming that while the event was alarming, it was not akin to movie-style quicksand scenarios. Jim Britt, a department spokesperson, clarified the nature of the threat. “The reality with this supersaturated sand is you’re not going to go under,” he explained. He attributed the phenomenon to climate change effects, noting that winter storms have redirected river water to areas frequently trafficked by visitors, creating patches of unstable, waterlogged sand.

Despite the fearsome appearance of these sand traps, Britt reassured that such situations are “100 percent survivable.” He advised, “The rule is stay calm, lean back. Find your way back.” This sentiment was echoed by Sean Vaillancourt, who manages Popham Beach for Maine’s Bureau of Parks and Land. He recommended a calm approach for those finding themselves in similar predicaments. “Just take your time and crawl out if you have to. You can also lean forward or back in a floating position. The more you can disperse your weight over that, the more you can move freely,” Vaillancourt advised.

Acord’s experience serves as a reminder of the unpredictable nature of natural environments and the importance of staying vigilant and informed about potential hazards while enjoying scenic locales.



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