After 12-Year-Old Is Buried In Sand Collapse, Warnings Issued Over How Deadly Beach Play Can Be

A 12-year-old boy was buried alive when a sand tunnel he was digging caved in on him.

The unnamed child is now recovering, but the dramatic scene reveals the dangers of beach play.

Jessica Cliver and her sister, Taylor, were on the beach near Santa Barbara, California, and helped rescue the boy. 

Jessica told INSIDE EDITION: “I noticed there were feet sticking out of the sand. It didn't look right.”

Read: Buried Alive at the Beach -- Sand Tunnel Collapse Leaves Family Devastated

Taylor added: “When the sand collapsed he was lying on his stomach, so instead of his feet sticking up you could see his feet. We had to dig down straight to his head and bring him above the sand.”

Jessica gave a warning to parents: “Please always watch your children you think there are dangers in the water but there are dangers in the sand as well.”

While making sand tunnels can seem like fun in the sun, they can actually be dangerous - even deadly.

At least four reported incidents of sand tunnel collapses have occurred this summer.

One beachgoer, Ryan King, was digging a 10-foot hole in Martha's Vineyard when it collapsed.

Rescuers had to use a backhoe to dig King out. He was lucky they got to him in time before he suffocated under the weight of the sand.

It's estimated that more than two dozen young people have died in sand hole collapses over the last decade.

Los Angeles County lifeguard, Julio Rodriguez, showed INSIDE EDITION just how quickly a sand hole can turn into a sand trap.

Read: Six Beach Hacks to Make Your Trip Go Swimmingly

Rodriguez said: “Sand is relatively heavy. You're looking at about 110 pounds per cubic foot.”

And digging someone out of tons of sand is a difficult task.

“For every shovel full that I get, more sand continues to fall into the hole,” he said.

Adam Pye, 26, was hanging out at the beach in northern California when he and a friend started digging two 10-foot-deep holes and began to connect them to make a tunnel.

After just 30 minutes of frantic digging, firefighters reached Adam's lifeless body. The cause of death was "Suffocation; Sand Hole Entrapment."

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