Man Dies After Beach Hole Caves In

He dug 10-foot pit before it collapsed

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Jul 23, 2014 5:14 PM CDT

(Newser) – A young man died after a hole he dug on a Northern California beach collapsed and trapped him in the sand for at least five minutes, authorities said. The 26-year-old man dug a roughly 10-foot-deep hole at Francis State Beach and was standing in it when the sand started caving in around him. About 30 people frantically dug with their hands, buckets, and improvised tools to expose his head. They were able to do so after about five minutes, just as firefighters arrived at the scene.

"When they got there, they discovered he was unconscious," said Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Capt. Jonathan Cox. Paramedics managed to open the man's airways while about 30 firefighters, aided by the bystanders, used shovels and other equipment to pull out his body. Rescuers extricated him in about 35 minutes and tried to revive him, but he died at the scene. The man was identified as Adam Pye of San Lorenzo.

Emergency crew workers and volunteers working to rescue a man at Francis State Beach in Half Moon Bay, Calif.
Emergency crew workers and volunteers working to rescue a man at Francis State Beach in Half Moon Bay, Calif.   (Dean Coppola)
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