Escaping Sinking Sand | God's World News

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Beware the Sinking Sand
News Shorts
Posted: June 10, 2024
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    Jamie Acord poses for a photo on Popham Beach, in Phippsburg, Maine, where she sank to her hips in quicksand. (Patrick Acord via AP)
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    Patrick and Jamie Acord pose for a picture on Popham Beach. Patrick pulled his wife out of quicksand. (Patrick Acord via AP)
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    Beachgoers walk to Fox Island at low tide from Popham Beach State Park. (AP/Pat Wellenbach)
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Jamie Acord walked at the edge of the water at Popham Beach State Park in Maine. SLURP. Suddenly, the sand swallowed her legs.

“I couldn’t feel the bottom,” Mrs. Acord says. “I couldn’t find my footing.”

Her husband quickly pulled her from the sand trap. The hole filled in. The couple wondered: What just happened?

Turns out, it was quicksand! You might have seen it in movies or cartoons. It’s also called supersaturated sand. The sand behaves more like a liquid because it’s saturated (soaked) with water.

Thankfully, real quicksand is not like the movies.

People who are caught in supersaturated sand still float. They can wriggle themselves to safety, says Jim Britt. He’s a spokesperson for the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.

“People hear the word quicksand [and] they think jungle movie. The reality with this supersaturated sand is you’re not going to go under,” he says.

Mrs. Acord says it all happened so fast she didn’t have time to be scared.

If you ever encounter quicksand, don’t panic. Your legs might sink, but you won’t get sucked to the bottom. That’s because the sand is denser (more packed together) than a human body. Lean back and s-l-o-w-l-y move your legs back and forth to bring them to the surface.

Why was quicksand at the busy beach? A series of winter storms rerouted a river that pours into the ocean. That softened the sand in an area where beachgoers often walk. Park staff put up warning signs nearby, Mr. Britt says.

Have you ever sung a hymn called “My Hope Is Built on Nothing Less”? It says that Jesus is a firm foundation. “On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; All other ground is sinking sand.” Humans often build their lives around people or things that aren’t trustworthy. That’s like standing on quicksand. But Jesus will never let us sink.

But God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His.” — 2 Timothy 2:19