Why Beach Blast was cancelled


Courtesy of Larry Wray, Director of Campus Life

Meredith Hoffman, Assistant News Editor

Early Tuesday morning, new and returning students alike woke up to the surprising news that Beach Blast was cancelled. The news of the cancelation came as a disappointment to many UNC Wilmington students who looked forward to annual beach party that welcomes the student body to campus.

The weather Tuesday was warm and sunny, which fostered some confusion among students about the decision process for canceling the beloved event. An email, in striking red letters, was sent to all students and faculty at roughly 8:10 a.m. announcing the cancellation. The message stated that Beach Blast was canceled because, “there is a very high risk of rip currents which causes risk to life of anyone entering the water”.

Larry Ward, a UNCW representative with Campus Life told The Seahawk that the decision to cancel Beach Blast was not taken lightly. UNCW, in conjunction with Environmental Health and Safety, made the decision to cancel the event at 5:00 a.m. Tuesday, when reports of the poor water conditions became unavoidable.

Rip currents are described by the U.S. Lifesaving Association [USLA] as one of the leading causes of drowning related deaths in the United States annually. Rip currents form an extremely powerful river-like channel that can easily pull beach goers out into the ocean. It is estimated that 100 people are killed each year due to these dangerous currents. For a point of comparison, sharks are responsible for roughly six deaths a year.

The safety of students was the primary cause for canceling Beach Blast, according to Ward. While the campus officials acknowledged that nothing could replace the treasured annual event, there were many other activities available on campus. Such activities included games at Sharky’s and free movie showings in Lumina Theater.