An innocent day at the beach turned terrifying for a family yesterday afternoon. An 8-year-old boy was playing near a large sand dune at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore alongside Lake Michigan partially fell into a hole and ended up trapped under 11 feet of sand before rescuers managed to pull him out. Can you even imagine?!
When the child's family couldn't dig him out, they called 911, and emergency responders were on the scene in 15 minutes. They began digging by hand, which really sounds crazy when you consider that ultimately, a rescue crew had to use heavy excavating equipment for more than THREE HOURS to pull the boy out of a dune known as Mount Baldy, according to Lakeshore Ranger Bruce Rowe. Ugh. What a nightmare!
He was initially taken to Franciscan St. Anthony Health Medical Center, but later flown to a Chicago hospital. Rowe says he was told the boy had vital signs but didn't know anything else about his condition. Officials have not released the boy's name or hometown.
Rowe called the incident "baffling," but it's also petrifying, especially to families who often visit beaches with dunes. Having grown up in Chicago suburbs, we often went to the beaches in the area where this occurred, and I could have never imagined something like this happening. What happened to this little boy just seems like a completely unfathomable danger.
Even the ranger, who has worked at the lakeshore since 1991, admitted that he has "never heard of anything like this here or at other sand dune parks. I've never heard of anything like this on a sand dune." Just terrible ... Thankfully, authorities are investigating and the dune will remain closed this weekend until they know it's safe.
Thoughts and prayers to the boy's family. With hope, he will recover fully and swiftly.
Are you baffled by this incident as well?
Image via Steve Johnson/Flickr