- At Home
A fun day at the beach ended in tragedy for one New Jersey family, when a 12-year-old boy died after the tunnel he was digging in the sand collapsed on him.
The boy and his brother were playing in the sand at a beach in Long Branch when a sand tunnel caved in and trapped him, according to police and witnesses. The weight of the sand crushed his chest and prevented him from breathing.
Lifeguards pulled the boy out and began to administer CPR, but he was unconscious with blood coming from his nose. He was rushed to a nearby medical center where he was later pronounced dead.
“It’s a tragedy. My heart goes out to the family,” city Mayor Adam Schneider told the Asbury Park Press. “It’s just incomprehensible to all of us because we’ve been so focused on beach safety during the last two months since the drowning of Memorial Day Weekend. This just blows your mind.”
Few people consider that there could be any danger to digging holes in the sand or building sand tunnels, but according to CBS News, there were at least 16 beach-hole-related deaths between 1990 and 2010.
"At least once a day, lifeguards have to stop someone from digging a hole too deep," a lifeguard told the North County Times back in 2010. "Holes are a hazard for everyone who uses the beach."
Want to keep your kids safe at the beach? Parents are advised to keep children from digging any deeper than their knees, and to avoid tunneling under sand.