A 17-year-old boy was saved by dozens of rescuers after being buried alive under seven feet of sand for nearly 30 minutes at a California beach.
The teen, identified as Matt Mina, fell into the predicament after a tunnel he had dug for himself Wednesday afternoon at Newport Beach suddenly collapsed around him.
Firefighters and lifeguards were called to the beach at 54th Street around 3:40 p.m. Wednesday to assist in the rescue. Beachgoers began digging with anything they could find to extricate the teen.
"I thought I was going to die," Mina told KTLA about the ordeal, adding that he was screaming for help, but unaware if anyone could hear him from beneath the sand.
"He was doing what we call tunneling, which is a very dangerous operation. The sand collapsed on him, essentially burying him alive," said Newport Beach Fire Department Battalion Chief Jeff Boyles.
Boyles said Mina was disoriented and lethargic due to oxygen deprivation when they pulled him out and was taken to Hoag Hospital.
"The fact that he's still alive today -- I think he has a lot to be owed to luck, and to the great efforts of the lifeguards and fire personnel that dug him out," said Boyles.
According to the hospital, Mina has not sustained any life-threatening injuries and should be okay.