NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. - Three men are being hailed as heroes after they found a toddler who wandered away from his mother at a California beach and found himself buried under feet of sand.
Stuart Frost, 50, was at a family reunion at Newport Beach on Saturday afternoon when his nephew, 35-year-old Jesse Martin, ran up to tell relatives that he heard a woman frantically searching for her 3-year-old son, The Arizona Republic reported.
"I could see this lady down the beach with her hands on her head, just distraught," Frost told the newspaper. "So I said to my family, 'Let's go help her.' She was around like 50 people, and none of them got up to help her. It was really odd."
A lifeguard was notified of the boy's disappearance and Frost's family, a group of about 30, took to the sand in an effort to find the child, The Republic reported.
The mother told Frost and his family that she turned her back on her toddler son, Brooks, to put sunscreen on her other child, according to KPNX. When she turned back, the boy was gone.
Brooks' family was set up near two large holes and he was last seen playing in one of them, KPNX reported. It dawned on Frost that the boy may have been buried.
"We started digging, and Jesse found this little boy, Brooks, and pulled him out," Frost told The Arizona Republic. "He was ash gray, he was dead. He was dead. So we pulled him out, and the mom was just beside herself."
Brooks was not moving. His face lacked color and his mouth was filled with sand. Frost estimated he was buried for about five minutes before he was found and Stuart's twin brother, Steve Frost, started to give him CPR, according to KPNX.
After a few moments the boy's lip quivered. Finally, he started breathing and immediately screamed for his mother, The Republic reported.
Newport Beach Lifeguard Battalion Chief Brent Jacobsen told the newspaper the situation could have been much more dire. Brooks was buried when the 3-foot deep hole he was playing in collapsed on him.
He was transported to a local hospital and is expected to fully recover.
"One of the neat things about the story is that later that day, the family came over and showed us a picture of him laughing and smiling and doing okay," Frost told The Republic. "It was truly a miracle."
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