A 17-year-old teenage boy is lucky to be alive after being buried on a California beach after a sand tunnel caved in.

Matt Mina and his friends were digging a tunnel five to seven feet below the beach's surface when the incident occured. He screamed for help, but wasn't sure anyone could hear him.

A family member alerted a lifeguard, and soon paramedics, firefighters and beachgoers frantically pitched in at a desperate attempt to dig the teen out, but the sand kept pouring back in.

The horrifying 30 minute ordeal ended when authorities finally dug him out - alive. The worried crowd that had gathered went crazy and erupted in cheers.

Mina is a lucky teen, who admits he thought he was "going to die". He is grateful to everyone who helped: "I want to thank everyone... that helped me stay alive. I want to give a shout out to them and say thank you," Mina said on msnbc.

Fire officials since issued a a warning: Don't let children dig deep into the sand at the beach beacuse the sand is unstable.

As for further digging adventures, Mina said "for now, definitely" over.