It took 60 rescuers nearly two hours to free an Austrian Olympic swimmer who was buried alive at a Florida beach after he playfully jumped into a deep hole in the sand.
Sunday at 7 p.m. Pompano Beach authorities received a report that Jakub Maly, 19, jumped into a two-metre deep and 1.8 metre wide hole, but became trapped when the walls suddenly collapsed around him.
"(The sand) literally buried him alive. His coach and team members were digging his head out of the sand so he could breathe," said Pompano Beach Fire-Rescue spokeswoman Sandra King on Monday.
Authorities feared he could became crushed by the weight of the sand or suffocate.
A dozen members from the Austrian Olympic swim team were in Florida for nearly a month training and had been at Pompano Beach, north of Fort Lauderdale, in their off-time.
King said Maly had spent several hours digging the hole and leapt in as a joke.
Maly was given oxygen during the rescue and taken to hospital. He was released Monday with unknown injuries.