A tourist who was strolling down St. Kilda’s pier in Melbourne, Australia on Monday night wasn’t paying close enough attention to where she was going and fell in, authorities say.
“She was still out in the water laying on her back in a floating position because she told us later that she couldn’t swim,” Senior Constable Dean Kelly told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. “She still had her mobile phone in her hand and initially she apologised… she said ‘I was checking my Facebook page on the phone and I’ve fallen in’.”
The woman, who was from Taiwan, floated on her back until rescuers came about 20 minutes later, holding her phone aloft to keep it safe.
She’s not the first to endanger herself because of a need to check in via cellphone; last March, a Benton Harbor woman tripped over an object while she was texting and fell right into the harbor.
“I had set an appointment for the wrong time and so I sent about three words. Next thing you know it was the water,” said Bonnie Miller.
In January, a British radio personality fell into an icy canal while looking at her phone and was only spared a cold death by a passerby who happened to see her fall in.
“Oh dear. I should really be called Laura UNsafe after the day I’ve had!” Laura Safe said. “I thought ice on the canal was pavement because it looked dark in the corner of my eye. I heard a man called out ’stop’ to me and I looked up at him, but it was too late by that point. I tried to get my balance and ended up slipping into the canal. But not before I’d saved my handbag and mobile phone. This man came running up Baywatch style, grabbed my hand and pulled me up. He was a hero and saved my life.”
Many states have laws against texting and driving, but there aren’t many safeguards against people who do it while walking. Be safe out there, kids.