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Heidi Filmer-Gallagher, of Brewster, watched as a rescue team dug her 15-year-old daughter the end of a hole on north Beach Island in Chatham Sunday. Sand collapsed around the girl when she hit water as she dug the hole.Heidi Filmer-Gallagher
A 15-year-old girl was rescued ~ a feet she dug on a coast in Chatham Sunday collapsed roughly her, trapping her in wet, hefty sand.

“I’ve lived on Cape Cod because that 23 years and I’ve to be a boater the whole time. It just didn’t cross my mind the this can happen,” said the girl’s mother, Heidi Filmer-Gallagher, the Brewster. “It to be a near-death case for her and I’ve had a really tough time the last two days.”

Filmer-Gallagher to be visiting phibìc Beach Island v her 3 children and also a friend Sunday afternoon. She to be on the various other side that the beach collecting seashells with her friend when one that her children called her cellphone roughly 5 p.m.


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They frantically told her that her daughter, Tessa, had actually been hidden under sand while digging a large hole. Filmer-Gallagher claimed she automatically ran as fast as she might to get back to her kids, envisioning Tessa totally covered in sand.

You are watching: Buried in the sand at the beach

“That’s the one point that keeps going with my head over and over, is the means it felt thinking she was entirely under,” Filmer-Gallagher said. “When I acquired to the other side, she was up to her neck and also her head to be poking out. It was a large relief, however the issue on the method there to be so intense it keeps haunting me.”

Tessa to be still in danger. The cold, wet sand that had actually collapsed roughly was pressing versus her chest, make it hard for her to breathe and impossible to move.

“It was prefer cement,” Filmer-Gallagher said.

The sand caved in about Tessa even an ext when she mother and teen sister do the efforts to dig her out. Filmer-Gallagher’s friend called 911 and within minutes, a rescue team native the Chatham Fire Department come by boat.

Chatham Fire Deputy cook Justin Tavano claimed officials initially had trouble pinpointing the family’s precise location ~ above the island, but dispatchers used the caller’s cellphone latitude and also longitude information to find them.


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Crews conveniently started to destruction Tessa out, placing a huge black tube approximately her come keep much more sand from pressing versus her together they shoveled. Small cups from the family’s cooler were likewise used to scoop sand out of the tube.


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A member of the Chatham Fire Department spoke to a 15-year-old girl after she ended up being trapped in sand top top a beach in Chatham Sunday.Heidi Filmer-Gallagher

“It was yes, really labor-intensive and challenging,” Tavano said. “We had to dig a little, reposition the tube to save out an ext sand, and then destruction a tiny and reposition the tube again.”

While Filmer-Gallagher watched nervously, Tessa remained calm.

“She just sat there and nodded her head and also listened to whatever they stated as castle coached her, and she was totally fine,” Filmer-Gallagher said. “I think she was in a bit of shock.”

It took around 30 minutes because that crews come clear enough sand for Tessa come wiggle the end of the hole. When they did, she “jumped out pretty quickly,” Tavano said.

Tessa still had feeling in all of her limbs but was cold and also shivering native the wet sand. Crews brought her earlier to the Chatham fish pier and evaluated her inside an ambulance. She was a little shaken, yet uninjured.

Filmer-Gallagher stated the feet caved in when her daughter fight water together she was digging.

“She had actually been digging v her hands and also scooping out the sand,” Filmer-Gallagher said. “Thank God she no bending over as soon as it collapsed.”

Another teenager and a mrs in her 40s were hidden in sand while digging on a part of Nauset beach in orleans last month. Prefer Tessa, lock escaped without severe injury.


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Filmer-Gallagher stated she hopes civilization will store her daughter’s story in mind while digging at the beach.

“I’m hoping this will aid someone rather in the future and prevent something prefer this indigenous happening again,” she said.

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Caroline Enos deserve to be got to at caroline.enos
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