We all know it’s to fun to dig around at the beach with pails and shovels. But one tourist took it further than that. And he almost paid for it with his life.
Lee Goggin, a 35-year-old personal trainer from the Dallas area was enjoying a vacation with his family at Crescent Beach, south of Jacksonville on Florida’s Atlantic coast.
It’s unclear why Goggin decided to dig a tunnel in the sand by the dunes near the walkway around 1:40 p.m. Sunday, according to a police report from the St. John’s County Sheriff’s Office.
The victim’s sister, Rachel Burt, explained to officers that Goggin was digging for a while while his wife Courtney shot video. At some point, the tunnel collapsed.
Family members tried to dig him out and after about a minute, 911 was alerted.
A crew from St. Johns County Fire Rescue arrived and after about 30 minutes, was able to uncover the man, who was in cardiac arrest, and taken to nearby Flagler Hospital.
“He essentially dug a tunnel by hand,” said Jeremy Robshaw, spokesman for St. John’s County Fire Rescue. “He was digging alongside the dunes, which are about three to five feet high. Apparently, the sand collapsed on him and the individual was trapped.”
Cops arrived on the scene, discovering the man lying on the sand unconscious. Rescue crews administered lifesaving measures to Goggin, according to the report.
As of Sunday afternoon, the victim was in critical condition; his health status on Monday was unclear.
In 2014, Goggin received a kidney transplant after suffering from end-stage kidney disease, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.