Spinal injuries prompt warnings against diving at oceanfront

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — Lifeguards in Virginia Beach are warning people against diving into murky and shallow water at the oceanfront in the wake of three people reporting spinal cord injuries this year.

Tom Gill is chief of the Virginia Beach Lifesaving Service. He told The Virginian-Pilot last week that if “you can’t see what you’re diving into, you shouldn’t dive into it.”

Chad Rosenbrock dived into the surf in June and reportedly hit his head. The impact broke several vertebrae. The 46-year-old Navy veteran was paralyzed from the chest down.

Virginia Beach saw six suspected spinal injuries last year. There were seven in 2017. Most injuries are fairly minor. And less than 10% result in paralysis. But doctors say they’re all preventable.

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