A Florida man died after getting buried alive by a sand dune that collapsed while he was enjoying the sunrise, authorities said.

The freak accident happened early Sunday morning at Rock Beach on Hutchinson Island — where a passerby spotted a pair of human legs sticking out from the sand and called for help, the Martin County Sheriff’s Office said.

The grim discovery was made just south of the House of Refuge Museum at around 9 a.m.

Sean Nagel, 37, has died in a suspected accident when a beach dune under which he was recording a sunrise on a Florida beach collapsed on top of him on Sunday.
Sean Nagel, 37, has died in a suspected accident when a beach dune under which he was recording a sunrise on a Florida beach collapsed on top of him on Sunday.
Facebook/Will Nagel

Officials have determined that the man in the sand, who has been identified as 37-year-old Sean Nagel, from Stuart, “died hours earlier from asphyxia as a result of being trapped in the sand.”

Sheriff William Snyder confirmed to WPTV that when first responders dug up Nagel, sand was discovered in his lungs.

The release from the sheriff’s office stated that detectives believe Nagel was laying underneath a sand dune with his feet up while recording video of a sunrise between 5 and 6 a.m. when the dune collapsed, trapping him. They do not suspect foul play.

The incident happened along Rock Beach on Hutchinson Island, Florida, early Sunday.
The incident happened along Rock Beach on Hutchinson Island, Florida, early Sunday.
TNS via Getty Images
A beachgoer found Sean Nagel's legs sticking out of the sand and called for help, but the man had been dead for a couple hours.
A beachgoer found Nagel’s legs sticking out of the sand and called for help, but the man had been dead for a couple hours.
Facebook/Will Nagel

A GoPro camera and a plastic bag were found next to Nagel’s body in the sand, reported TCPalm.com.

The sheriff’s office added that investigators were awaiting the results of toxicology tests, as per standard procedure, but it noted the results were “not likely to change the outcome of this incident being a tragic accident.”

Nagel’s older brother confirmed his death resutling from an accidental dune collapse in a Facebook post on Monday.

“I am grief-stricken and still in disbelief to tell you all that my younger brother Sean Alexander Nagel is no longer with us on this earth,” Will Nagel wrote. “Please remember to enjoy your life and don’t take a single second for granted.”

Sean Nagel’s old Facebook posts suggest that he is survived by a young son.

In May, an 18-year-old was killed when a sand hole he was digging at a New Jersey beach suddenly collapsed.



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