Sand Tunnel Collapses On Man At Rehoboth Beach

07/06/2012 03:07 pm ET | Updated Jul 06, 2012

This is not anyone's idea of a day at the beach.

A 24-year-old visitor to Rehoboth Beach ended up at the hospital on Thursday afternoon when "a sand tunnel he was digging on the beach near Delaware Avenue in Rehoboth collapsed on top of him," according to The News Journal.

The victim, hailing from Tulsa, Ok., dug two deep holes in the sand, and a tunnel to connect them. When he attempted to crawl through the tunnel, the sand caved in around him, sealing him beneath the surface.

"It was a big tunnel, and he was underneath the ground digging it out," Delaney Steele, 14, told the Cape Gazette. "Everyone got out and gathered around it...The sand had totally covered him up."

The Cape Gazette detailed the man's rescue:

Lars Granholm, lifeguard medic, said the man was covered by about 6 feet of sand. He was unconscious and not breathing when he was first found, he said.

It took 15 minutes for 15 lifeguards extricate him from the sand, Granholm said.

When lifeguards pulled the man from the sand, he was moving his feet and breathing as paramedics took him away, Delaney said.

"When he got up to the boardwalk, he was conscious, alert and oriented. He was talking, and speaking to the medics," Assistant Chief Ralph Karl of the Rehoboth Beach Volunteer Fire Company told The Huffington Post.

The man has been released from the hospital, reports The News Journal.

The News Journal website also has a compelling slideshow of photos showing lifeguards digging the man out of the collapsed tunnel, and a warning from Rehoboth police "that holes should be no deeper than the knees of the smallest person in the group."

Flickr photo by eutrophication&hypoxia, used under a Creative Commons license.