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South Florida town approves beach ordinance after death of girl in sand hole

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CBS News Miami Live

FORT LAUDERDALE - The tragic death of a young girl playing on the beach earlier this year has prompted Lauderdale-by-the-Sea's commission to approve an ordinance to try and prevent something like that from happening again.

On February 20, Sloan Mattingly, 7, and her 9-year-old brother were digging a deep hole on the beach when the sand collapsed and trapped them both.

Sloan died. Her brother was rescued.

Last week, the town passed an ordinance that prohibits digging holes deeper than 18 inches (about a foot and a half) on the beach and requires that they be filled in prior to leaving the area.

"Sandcastles for Sloan" beach safety campaign 

They also approved the inclusion of new beach signs, flyers and notices to area hotels and at the visitor center reminding beachgoers that digging holes deeper than 18 inches is not allowed.

Since there are no lifeguards on the beach, Broward Sheriff's deputies and Pompano Beach Fire Rescue personnel have stepped up patrols on the beach.

The town's proposed budget for next year includes a new code enforcement officer who will patrol the beach to make sure the laws are being followed.

The commission is also considering the cost of a study and its results to determine whether to request proposals for Ocean Rescue Services (lifeguards).

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