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UPDATE: Monday Service Planned in Support of Teen Critically Injured In Sand Tunnel Collapse

Park officials say the Orinda teen and another teen were rescued from a sand tunnel on an Alamo church outing Saturday at a Santa Cruz County beach.

For updates about Ryan's condition, visit this website.

by Bay City News

UPDATE: in Alamo will be holding nightly prayer sessions this week at 7 p.m., for a teenager who was injured at a beach in Santa Cruz County on Saturday when a tunnel he was digging in the sand collapsed on him. There will be a meeting Monday night from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m.

The 17-year-old, Ryan Buchanan, who lives in Orinda and is a Miramonte High student, was not breathing when group members and lifeguards pulled him from the sand at a beach in unincorporate Santa Cruz County around 3 p.m., state park officials told The Santa Cruz Sentinel.

Ryan and another boy, both 17, had dug two holes in the sand with a tunnel connecting them, said Mike McMenamy, public safety superintendent for the Santa Cruz state parks district.          

McMenamy estimated that the holes were about 7 feet deep with a esumably part of the holes collapsed and buried them," McMenamy said.

"People started screaming and digging to get the kids out," McMenamy said.

The lifeguards, who were only about 125 yards away, were alerted to the situation at about 4:30 p.m. and quickly began digging as well, McMenamy said.          

While they were working, firefighters from Cal Fire and the Aptos/La Selva Fire Protection District joined the rescue efforts, along with two ambulance crews, deputies from the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office, California Highway Patrol officers and state park rangers.

Rescuers had the first boy out of the sand within about five minutes and the second boy, Ryan, who was deeper in the sand, was pulled out a few minutes after that, McMenamy said.

The first boy was taken by ambulance to Dominican Hospital in Santa Cruz, where he was released that evening, McMenamy said.

Ryan was taken by helicopter to Santa Clara Valley Medical Center where sand was removed from his airway. He was listed in critical condition Monday.

On Sunday, the church's high school pastor Sean Donohue wrote on Facebook, "As of right now Ryan has a great heartbeat and blood pressure, healthy lungs, and as of this morning, the first brain scan report was good. The next 24-48 hours are crucial."

"My heart goes out to the family and the community," McMenamy said.

About 50 teens and eight adults from the Alamo church were on the day trip and had been at , which is 16 miles south of Santa Cruz.

The teens were being watched by adults, but nobody was aware of the danger, Callison said.

The full story from The Sentinel can be found here.

To visit the Facebook page of the church's teen ministry group, click here.

Kari Hulac June 26, 2011 at 09:24 PM
Thank you Maria for sharing with Patch the latest news. We're sorry this happened and hope Ryan will be OK.

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