Newport Beach firefighters assisted lifeguards in freeing a teen who was trapped under more than six feet of sand after a hole he dug collapsed on him Wednesday, according to KTLA-TV.
Crews responded to the beach at 54th Street at approximately 3:40 p.m. to find 17-year-old Matt Mina buried in the tunnel he climbed inside when the collapsed occurred.
"He was doing what we call tunneling, which is a very dangerous operation," Newport Beach Battalion Chief Jeff Boyles told the news station. "The sand collapsed on him, essentially burying him alive."
Officials said he was trapped for close to 30 minutes before being rescued.
"I thought I was going to die," he told the news station.
Video shows close to 100 people, including firefighters, lifeguards and bystanders trying to dig him out.
Urban search and rescue teams from Huntington Beach, Costa Mesa and Newport Beach also assisted.
Mina was disoriented and lethargic after being rescued and was transported to Hoag Hospital, but was not seriously injured.
The fact that he's still alive today -- I think he has a lot to be owed to luck, and to the great efforts of the lifeguards and fire personnel that dug him out," Boyles said.