- Associated Press - Saturday, April 17, 2021

BETHANY BEACH, Del. (AP) - A Delaware beach town is banning beachgoers from digging large holes in the sand.

The new ordinance passed unanimously Friday at the Bethany Beach town council meeting and bans holes larger than 1 foot deep and 2 feet wide.

Town officials say the ordinance is a safety measure. They cited reports of rescues in nearby towns when large holes unexpectedly collapsed on children. In Ocean City, Maryland, a Texas woman died in 2017 after she became buried in a hole.

Bethany Beach officials say similar ordinances are in place in beach towns in Maryland, South Carolina, North Carolina and California, among other places.

The ordinance allows for fines of $50 to $100 - town officials said they needed an enforcement mechanism for people who ignored lifeguards’ instructions to fill in holes deep enough to pose a safety hazard.

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