Tyne & Wear

Ron Martin recalls being buried under sand dunes at Druridge Bay

A man has spoken about being buried beneath sand dunes at a Northumberland beauty spot.

Rescuers worked frantically for more than two hours to free Ron Martin from a 10ft (3 metre) hole at Druridge Bay.

Mr Martin, from Bedlington, said he thought he was about to die, when he was covered up to his head on Sunday.

The 32-year-old said he was with his brother Billy and a group of friends, when a hole they were digging for fun suddenly collapsed around him.

He said: "We were just having a day out with family and friends, as you do.

Breathing space

"Myself and my brother were just digging a hole for fun, when all of a sudden it just swallowed me.

"It was sunny and then suddenly everything turned into a complete disaster. It was like a living hell.

"I thought I was dead. The sand was over my head and I couldn't breath. Someone got a hand to my head and helped get me a breathing space.

"It was a miracle that they dug and dug and got me out.

"I could feel the sand filling my mouth and my throat. I was crushed.

Image caption Rescuers worked for more than two hours to free Mr Martin

"I didn't think I was going to survive. My brother told me later he thought he was digging a dead body out of the sand."

Mr Martin thanked the emergency services and passers by who helped in the rescue effort.

"They were angels and life-savers," he added.

His brother Billy said: "It was horrific and there was a lot of panic.

"We didn't know what to do except keep digging.

"I thought we'd lost him. When I first found his head he wasn't moving and we thought we'd lost him."

Northumbria Police and the National Trust have warned visitors to Druridge Bay to be aware of the risks associated with digging on sand dunes.

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