"It was pretty gnarly when he popped out. I threw up."
We surfers, we who find our joy upon the waters, are well aware of lineup danger. Sharks, rabid seals, mean otters, SUP enthusiasts, influencers, coral, rock, vulnerable adult learners etc. The sand fronting those rolling waves, though, is entirely different story and I only see what I can only assume sun bathers deem “hazards” from afar, bobbing out at sea. An errant frisbee, maybe. Or whatever that spike ball thing is.
There is one horror that presents itself from time to time, however, that gives me deep chills. People who fall into sand holes and are buried alive.
The nightmare scenario occurred over the weekend on Bribrie Island, near Brisbane, when a 25-year-old Australian man fell into a six-foot-deep sand hole dug to cook a pig. Eyewitnesses report that Josh Taylor “stood up off the chair, the sand had given away a little bit underneath him. He stumbled back. He’d put his arms out to obviously to break the fall, he’s continued going down and knocked sand as he’s put his arms out.”
Sand quickly filled in and soon only his feet were poking out.
Those around jumped into action, trying to free the young man. “There were 15 fully grown men on the end of this rope and he still would not budge,” the bystander continued, “That’s when the paramedic was like pull him this way .. . the suction gave way and he popped out.”
Another described the pandemonium. “I realized someone was head first in a hole and I was just digging digging digging…All of his family, were screaming at us, telling us to help, telling us to get rope so we could pull him out. It was pretty gruesome. It was pretty gnarly when he popped out. I threw up.”
Taylor had no pulse but paramedics immediately began CPR, which they performed for 45-minutes until his heart started beating again.
“The fact that they have got a return of pulse on this young man after an extended period of CPR, is evidence that good CPR was being done, it’s a credit to those people who got in and helped with their first aid,” QAS Paramedic Peter Batt said.
He was rushed to Princess Alexandra Hospital where he remains in critical but stable condition.
A miracle but, boy, I cannot imagine anything worse.