Saturday, 2 April 2016

Deadly Dangers of the Dune

Headnote: This article is outdated, for more up-to-date information on death figures, rates, and the research undertaken; please visit my Revisiting Death post. (Posted: 13th January 2020)

This is an article that wasn't really planned in the agenda for this year, however I've been recently researching dangers and how many deaths there have been from Sandboarding; when I use a death toll, I'm not referring to estimates from Ancient times where some Egyptian pharaoh may have been killed by a 'Sand dune accident', I am taking from recent news and to my research, I had found a grand total of 3 deaths in the recent past. I personally don't know if 3 deaths is too many or too few, as these 3 deaths are from 2009, 2010, and 2013 respectively; it would make an average of 0.6 sandboarding related deaths per year.

I found an article published by Oxford University in the UK outlining the death rates for certain sports ( Accessed: 2nd April 2016)

If you take our 0.6 we calculated just now and take the 9 years surveyed in Table Tennis, there were 7 deaths in Germany alone, therefore from what I had calculated, Sandboarding is safer than Table Tennis with 17.7% less deaths on average per annum, you heard me right: Sandboarding is safer than Table Tennis. I won't know the odds of death or injury from Sandboarding as I don't know of a method to calculate this, however I would suspect that it would be very low, but keep in mind that Sandboarding may cause less chance of death than Table tennis, Sandboarding is more dangerous and more deadly than Canoeing (presumably because of a required to license to row in some British bodies of water and that safety equipment is highly advisable.)

Courtesy of: Urban~commonswiki License: CC BY-SA 3.0

While it is sad to see and hear of anyone's life being taken by sport which should be something enjoyable, it's a useful reminder that your hobby can turn deadly by small variables such as weather, surface, bodily functions, and even by a possible attack from an animal. It's not nice knowing that one day I may be one of the 0.6 annual deaths per year due to Sandboarding, but I could also be one of the 1,713 deaths in road accidents in the UK (as of 2013, article can be found by clicking here). I don't like talking about these bad incidents but it's worth mentioning since there needs to be action taken in order to help all of us make sports safer.

The main reason for deaths in Sandboarding come down to either a pre-existing medical condition that may affect performance and or handling with the adaptations of the climate, surroundings, and environment; there's also a risk of colliding with a fence or wall at a very high speed, dehydration, collapse from hyperthermia (extreme heat), and even drowning in some coastal areas. However, in the UK, this isn't a problem as it's mainly a cold country, dunes aren't as steep as those in the Sahara or Atacama, and primarily because Sandboarding is a rare sport to practice here.

Courtesy of: Nigel Chadwick License: CC BY-SA 2.0

Sports have been at the receiving end of government involvement to help curb down the danger rate while at the same time, been a sort of nuisance for sports-goers. If you want to know more about how a government can easily impose rules on your sport, read the blog next week and I'll tell you! Also, I'll do another one of these articles soon but include some non-deadly dangers of Sandboarding such as injuries and the 'little' things.

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