Man Buried By Sand Dune Thanks Rescuers

Rescue at Druridge Bay, Northumberland
Emergency rescuers bring Ronnie Martin to safety Photo: John Tuttiett

The 32 year old plasterer had been enjoying a day on the beach with his wife, friends and family. He had been helping to dig a hole, for fun, when the sand engulfed him. He was trapped, with a foot of sand above his head.

I felt the pressure. And I could hear voices and stuff and then it crushed us more so I knew more sand had come on top of us. I thought I was dead.

– Ronnie Martin

Ronnie's brother Billy and best friend Reg began a frantic search for Ronnie, assisted by passers-by. They were later joined by around fifty members of the emergency services, who had to remove fifteen tonnes of sand in order to bring Ronnie out alive.

Ronnie says he owes his life to everyone who helped to rescue him. Ronnie, Billy and Reg now want to organise a sponsored cycle ride to thank the organisations involved.

The Coastguard said the incident shows the risks of digging close to sand dunes. They are urging people to think carefully about the dangers of the coastline.