KHQ.COM - California teen Matt Mina's day at the beach become a life-and-death struggle when he found himself buried alive under six feet of sand. His narrow escape from suffocation was captured on dramatic video by an onlooker who documented a crew of some 40 rescuers frantically digging to rescue the trapped teen.
The 17-year-old was an outing with pals at Newport Beach Wednesday afternoon, digging tunnels and trying to make them meet. But when Mina climbed into his hole, the surrounding sand collapsed and put him literally six feet under.
"I thought I was going to die," Mina told Matt Lauer and Ann Curry live via satellite from Orange, Calif., Thursday. "I was just really scared. I didn't know if anyone could hear me when I was screaming for help."
Thankfully, Mina's cousin had seen what happened and alerted lifeguards. While several beachgoers started to attempt to dig the trapped teen out, using improvised tools from swimming fins to boogie boards, search-and-rescue teams poured in from three communities.
The buzz of activity caught Skip Snead's eye. He had dropped his 10-year-old son off at a friend's house and was heading home when the saw fire trucks and police cars racing to the scene. Fearing that the rescuers might be looking for his own son, he followed them to the site. He had a video camera with him.
"I was frantically looking, making sure my kid wasn't the one buried in the sand," Snead, appearing alongside Mina on TODAY, told Curry and Lauer. "I was pretty scared, and when I found out it wasn't my son, I just let the camera roll."
As he did, Snead didn't think he was going to record a happy outcome. "We thought they were going to pull up a dead body." >>>CLICK HERE TO READ MORE