A YOUNG boy is lucky to be alive after being buried entirely by sand yesterday at Kingscliff Beach.
The Bogangar boy, 10, was body-boarding with friends at the heavily-eroded southern end of the beach, Tweed police Inspector Darren Steel said.
“He was walking along the beach shortly before noon and he has fallen into a void between large rocks that were concealed under sand,” Insp Steel said.
“When he fell down, sand caved in on top of him and completely covered him.
“His companions noticed he was missing, found where he had fallen into the void and cleared his head.”
Insp Steel said emergency workers were alerted.
“Ambulance were the first on the scene and the paramedics were working on keeping the young boy's head free from the sand.
“Police then assisted the paramedics digging away the sand but it kept collapsing in on top of him for some time before it was able to be stabilised.”
Paramedics, police officers and Tweed District Rescue Squad volunteers took about an hour to free the boy, squad secretary Mal Pearse said. “There was a risk of further sand falling on him,” Mr Pearse said.
“We used tarps and the ambulance's spinal boards to shore it up a bit and dug him out by hand.”
A NSW Ambulance spokeswoman said the boy received minor injuries.
“He was treated by paramedics and he's fine,” the spokeswoman said.
“He did not need to go to hospital.”
When freed the boy rushed into the arms of his waiting mother, who arrived at the scene during the rescue.
Insp Steel said the boy was very fortunate.
“He's lucky to be alive and it was only through the efforts of his friends, paramedics and police initially that he was able to breathe,” Insp Steel said.
“It certainly could have been the case that this incident could have had a far more tragic outcome.”
Mr Pearse said the incident served as a reminder about the dangers of playing near sand dunes.
“This boy was lucky there were other people around,” Mr Pearse said.
“Otherwise it could have ended a little differently.
“It's been quite a while since we've had to do one of those rescues.”
He urged beach-goers to be cautious near the erosion at Kingscliff, which is predicted to worsen.
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