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CAPE HATTERAS, N.C. — Authorities say a man vacationing on the Outer Banks died after he was buried in sand while digging a tunnel to connect two large holes.

WTKR-TV reported that 49-year-old David Frasier of Fredericksburg, Virginia was unresponsive when he was pulled out of the approximately 4-foot hole.

It happened sometime Monday afternoon north of ramp 27 between the villages of Salvo and Avon, according to The National Park Service.

Rescuers were able to free Frasier at the beach south of Salvo about 15 minutes later, but he was already dead, according to officials. A registered nurse visiting the beach nearby tried to revive him.

Units from the National Park Service, Dare County EMS and Hatteras Island Ocean Rescue responded to the scene.

Digging a sand hole is completely fine on the beach, though lifeguards prohibit anyone from making a hole that’s more than a few feet deep.