A 12-year-old boy is rescued by passers-by after being buried in a 5-foot-deep hole in a sand dune for 14 minutes.

A 12-year-old boy was hospitalized after being buried in a Michigan sand dune for 14 minutes, authorities say.

The boy and his 8-year-old brother were digging holes and burying each other while playing at Silver Lake State Park in Mears, Michigan, on Sunday.

The Oceana County Sheriff’s Office said one of the holes was about 5 feet deep and the walls collapsed on the 12-year-old while they were playing, burying him under the sand.

According to the sheriff’s office, the other child immediately began calling for help.

“The brother who witnessed what had just happened screamed for help, and the parents present immediately began calling for help and digging,” the sheriff’s office said.

The sand dunes of Silver Lake State Park in Mears, Michigan. A 12-year-old boy had to be rescued after a hole he dug with his brother collapsed on him in June 2024, burying him for 14 minutes. (Michigan Department of Natural Resources)

OCSO received a report of the incident around 7 p.m. A Golden Township deputy, who was in the park at the time of the incident, reportedly responded within two minutes.

When the police arrived, the child was not visible under the sand and his family was desperately trying to get him out.

Firefighters, emergency services and bystanders worked together to dig, find the child and remove him from the sand.

OCSO Lt. Shane Hasty said WZZM that the child was buried for approximately 14 minutes before being dug out of the sand.

The child was reportedly unconscious and not breathing when he was finally pulled out of the hole.

Emergency responders treated him at the scene before he was transported to DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, according to the sheriff’s office. The child is recovering in hospital.

“We hope this young man makes a full recovery and will be able to play with his brother again soon,” the sheriff’s office said. “We are very grateful for our partnership with all of the agencies that responded.”

Hasty told the outlet that bystanders played a significant role in saving the child.

“It greatly benefited the child,” he said. “It looks like there was a collapse and people started digging, and people were also calling 911 for additional help along the way.”

Deputies also noted that there was nothing wrong with the sand, such as a sinkhole, and that the sand from the dunes was safe to walk on.