MIAMI- Burying yourself in the sand is a fun sport for many beach-goers, but one teenage Austrian Olympic swimmer managed to bury himself alive in Florida.
It took 60 rescuers including cave-in specialists nearly two hours to dig out 19-year-old Jakub Maly. They used boards to shore up the sides of the seven-foot trench he had dug and which collapsed over his head after he jumped in.
Maly, who competed in the 2010 Youth Olympics in Singapore and is now on the Austrian Olympic swimming squad, was given an oxygen mask to help him breathe during the dramatic rescue Sunday evening at Pompano Beach, Florida.
He spent a night in hospital before flying back to his home in Austria where he was recovering.
"He is an Olympic swimmer so I suppose he digs Olympic size holes," Pompano Beach Fire and Rescue spokeswoman Sandra King told Reuters Tuesday.
"You could have fit a Volkswagen in that trench."
Maly and a dozen members from his Austrian swimming team had been taking a day off from three weeks of training and competition when he excavated the enormous hole for fun.
When the sand collapsed over him after he jumped in, his teammates quickly cleared the sand from around his head and mouth so he could breathe, but could not pull him out.
After Maly was extracted, a Public Works crew used earthmoving equipment to fill the trench back in.
"The good news is that it ended well. We are happy that he is alive," King said.
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