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12-year-old Petoskey boy recovered unresponsive from sand dune after hole collapses

On Sunday, the Oceana County Sheriff’s Office got a call about a boy trapped in the sand dunes at the Silver Lake State Park pedestrian area.

They say a 12-year-old Petoskey boy was playing in the dunes with his eight-year-old brother. The boys were digging holes and burying each other.

Deputies say they boys had dug a hole that was about five feet deep when it collapsed on the 12-year-old boy. His brother yelled for help, and his parents started trying to dig the boy out.


The responding deputy was there in minutes and said the buried boy was not visible under the sand at all. Fire, EMS, DNR and bystanders all played a part in getting him out of the sand.

Deputies say the boy unresponsive and not breathing. Corewell Health AreoMed was requested by EMS personnel early in the call and airlifted the boy out.

The Sheriff’s Office says the accident did not involve a “sink hole” or other unusual danger, but the public should always be cautious when digging holes in the sand as they can easily collapse.

The 12-year-old is still being treated at DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids. Deputies did not provide an update on his condition.

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