Sand can provide us with hours and hours of fun at the beach. But it can also be incredibly dangerous, especially when it collapses on top of you.
An 11-year-old boy is counting his lucky stars after being ‘buried alive’ at Horseshoe Bay Beach in South Australia.
Jordan Spraggs was in the middle of digging a massive hole at the beach when he felt the sand around him move. Before he could step away, a metre of sand collapsed on top of him, burying almost his entire body.
“I was shouting out for help, and no one could barely hear me,” he said. “(The sand) was up to probably about an inch above my head.”
Jordan’s frantic mum immediately attempted to shovel her son out while screaming for help. She was able to remove the sand out of his mouth but the sand continued to cave in.
Buried alive for 30 minutes
One of the onlookers, Darien Bauer rushed to a nearby caravan park and alerted off-duty police officer, Lenny Carlier. They immediately returned to Jordan with more people to help dig for the buried boy.
Amazingly enough, the rescuers came up with the idea of using a snorkel to ensure Jordan kept breathing while buried. Officer Carlier then instructed the rescuers to dig from the back of the beach so the water wouldn’t collapse the hole any further.
It took half an hour of intense digging by several rescuers, but Jordan was freed and taken to South Coast Hospital at Victor Harbour.
Sand warning: Be aware of the dangers of digging
The incident is terrifying and has sparked a warning from emergency services that all beach-goers need to be aware of the hazards of digging holes. Kids MUST be supervised and understand that digging too deep or too close to a sand dune can be incredibly dangerous.
The rescue comes only a few months after a father-of-three lost his life after being buried by a sand dune. Lee Goggin was trapped under the sand for 30 minutes before he was uncovered. He suffered from cardiac arrest and died in hospital, two days after the tragedy.
Jordan is one of the very very lucky ones, thanks to the team of onlookers who helped dig him out.
“We really appreciate the efforts of the off-duty policeman. There were three or four guys in particular, but the off-duty police man really knew what to do,” Jordan’s grandfather, Bill Spraggs said.
Jordan admits that the next time he heads to the beach, he won’t be digging holes quite as deep. To his rescuers, Jordan also adds, “I just want to say thank you”.
For more about safety, check our article about the dangers of leaving children in cars.