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Harrowing details as man ‘buried alive’ on Qld beach

John Taylor remains in a critical condition after being buried alive on a Queensland beach.

John Taylor remains in a critical condition after being buried alive on a Queensland beach. Photos: Facebook

Harrowing details have emerged about a man left fighting for life after being buried more than a metre deep in sand on a busy Queensland beach.

The man, who remains in hospital in a critical but stable condition in intensive care, has been identified as 25-year-old Josh Taylor.

A witness has told of the horrifying moment Taylor fell into a sand hole on Bribie Island, off the Sunshine Coast, just before 2pm on Saturday.

It collapsed around him, leaving him buried 1.5 metres under the sand. Friends and local rangers began a frantic effort to get Taylor out, but initially could not.

One man, named only as Nathan, told the Seven Network he was about to leave the beach when the accident happened. He said Taylor and his friends had dug a large hole in the sand to cook a pig.

“He stood up off the chair, the sand had given way a little underneath him and he’d stumbled back,” Nathan said.

“He’d put his arms out to break the fall, he’s continued going down and knocked sand as he’s put his arms out.”

Taylor fell deep into the hole.

“You could not see his feet unless you were standing over the hole,” Nathan said.

“We just start digging, digging, digging.

“I ran down to the car and I said [to the people I was with], ‘Bro, you’re going to have to get out of this car. You’re going to have to get up here and help dig. We have got to get this fella out’.”

They tied a rope around Taylor’s feet to try to pull him out. But he remained stuck, until an off-duty paramedic arrived.

“All of his family, were screaming at us, telling us to help, telling us to get rope so we could pull him out. It was pretty gruesome,” Nathan said.

“There were like 15 fully grown men on the end of this rope and it still would not budge.

“That’s when the paramedic said, pull him this way, he’s gonna come … and then the suction gave way and he popped out.”

But Taylor had no pulse, and rangers and the other rescuers began a shared effort at CPR until paramedics arrived. A defibrillator was also used.

It is understood it took 45 minutes until Taylor’s pulse returned.

“It’s giving me goosebumps,” Nathan said, of the moment Taylor’s pulse returned.

“Everyone was pitching in.”

An RACQ LifeFlight helicopter pilot landed on the beach on the north-east side of the island, bringing doctors and paramedics to the scene.

Taylor was then flown to Brisbane’s Princess Alexandra Hospital in a critical condition.

QAS Paramedic Peter Batt praised the actions of the people who helped out.

“The fact that they have got a return of pulse on this young man after an extended period of CPR, is evidence that good CPR was being done, it’s a credit to those people who got in and helped with their first aid,” he said.

“The assistance that was provided by the people on the scene and the rangers and everybody else was really well done.”

Taylor’s family reportedly spent Sunday night at his bedside in hospital.

Bribie Island, on Queensland’s Moreton Bay, is a popular spot for holidays and day trips.

Topics: Queensland
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