Teen Buried in 7 Feet of Sand Pulled Out Alive

From Times Staff and Wire Reports

An Indiana teenager was in critical condition Friday night after collapsing sand buried him in a 7-foot pit he had dug at Bolsa Chica State Beach, authorities reported.

Lifeguards said the 15-year-old boy became trapped in the sand about 4 p.m. while joking with friends and relatives.

"He just dove back in as a joke, and the whole thing collapsed on top of him," said State Lifeguard Steven Hicks. "One person tried to dig him out while the rest ran down the beach to get help."

Hicks estimated that the youth was buried for about five minutes before friends and lifeguards finally pulled him out, breathing but unconscious. He apparently was sitting in the bottom of the hole when the cave-in occurred.

Paramedics took the boy to Long Beach Memorial Medical Center, where he was in critical condition Friday night. Authorities did not release his name because he is a minor and his parents had not been notified.

Lifeguards warn that digging holes at the beach can be particularly hazardous because of the risk of cave-in. They also pose a danger for people walking, jogging or playing sports on the sand.

Last year, Laguna Beach banned a number of ocean-side pastimes, including the digging of holes deeper than two feet or leaving shallower holes unfilled.

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