CAPE HATTERAS, N.C. (WTVR) -- A man died on the beach at Cape Hatteras National Seashore when a hole he dug in the sand collapsed on him. The incident happened sometime Monday afternoon north of ramp 27 between the villages of Salvo and Avon, according to The National Park Service.
David Frasier, 49, of Fredericksburg, was unresponsive when he was pulled out of the hole estimated to be five to six feet deep, officials said. A registered nurse visiting the beach nearby tried to revive him.
Units from the National Park Service, Dare County EMS and Hatteras Island Ocean Rescue responded to the incident.
Digging a sand hole is completely fine on the beach, although lifeguards prohibit anyone from making a hole that's more than few feet deep.
The Northwest Florida Daily News reports Frasier and his family had dug two six-foot deep holes and connected them with a tunnel.
He reportedly was crawling through the tunnel when it collapsed, and the heavy wet sand suffocated him and likely broke his neck.
First responders in Virginia Beach told WTKR.com this type of rescue is very rare. If the Virginia Beach Fire Department has to respond to a sand rescue, they won't use typical shovels in fear of hurting the person trapped in the sand.
"We're going to use plastic toys, plastic buckets, hands, anything soft to dig with," Jon Rigolo, captain with the Virginia Beach Fire Department, said.