The family of a young man who was buried alive underneath 1.5m of sand at a popular beach are facing an “incredibly challenging journey” as he continues to fight for life.
Josh Taylor, 25, was without a pulse for 45 minutes after the horrific incident on Bribie Island on Saturday afternoon.
It took fifteen men to finally pull him free from the sand pit.
His friends and family took turns providing CPR until he was flown to Princess Alexandra Hospital in Brisbane.
He remains in a critical but stable condition as of Tuesday afternoon.
A GoFundMe campaign was launched on Tuesday and had raised $15,000 in its first three hours.
The fundraiser states it’s hoping to raise $60,000 to help the Taylor family cover medical costs.
“We come to you today with heavy hearts and ask for support for the Taylor family,” fundraiser organiser Georgia Hoffman wrote.
“The unimaginable has happened to their beloved son, Josh, a vibrant and adventurous soul who has brought so much joy to those around him.
“Recently, Josh experienced a tragic accident on Bribie Island that has left him in critical condition.
“His family is now facing an incredibly challenging journey ahead.”
Ms Hoffman said any donations no matter how small would go a long way in supporting the Taylor family.
“The Taylor family needs to focus on Josh completely,” she said.
“In this time of heartache and uncertainty, we have the power to make a meaningful difference.
“Your contribution, no matter the size, will go a long way to help them.
“It will allow them to prioritise his care without the added external stresses and let them concentrate on what truly matters – Josh.”
As the donations continue to flow in, some people are leaving messages for Josh and his parents, Belinda and Peter Taylor.
“We are thinking of your family at this devastatingly hard time,” the Adler family wrote after donating money to campaign.
Messages of support have also been shared on social media, hoping for the young man’s recovery as he enters his third day in intensive care.
“Prayers out to you and the family, you’re gonna get through this my man,” one friend wrote to Facebook.
“Thoughts are with you Joshy,” another wrote.
Wests Brisbane Junior Rugby League Club shared a message from the Taylor family with their members asking for prayers to help Josh “pull through”.
“I have very sad news that the man who was buried at Bribie is Squizzy’s son Josh,” the message said.
“We are all devastated and praying for him.”
A witness who helped rescue Mr Taylor was told the group had dug the sand pit to cook a pig, similar to the traditional Maori cooking style of hangi.
“He stood up off the chair, the sand had given away a little bit underneath him,” Nathan told 7 News on Sunday night.
“He stumbled back. He’d put his arms out to obviously break the fall. He’s continued going down and knocked sand as he’s put his arms out.”
Nathan was leaving the beach with his family when a group of men ran over yelling for help to rescue their friend from under the sand.
When he arrived at the scene, Mr Taylor’s family and friends were desperately digging to get him out.
“I realised someone was head first in a hole and I was just digging, digging, digging,” he said.
“When I first went up to the hole, I couldn’t even see his foot. That’s how deep it was.”
He told NCA NewsWire there were more than 15 people digging in the sand to get the man out before paramedics and rangers arrived.
“All of his family were screaming at us, telling us to help, telling us to get rope so we could pull him out. It was pretty gruesome,” Nathan said.
“There were like 15 men on the rope pulling and he did not budge.”
After some time of pulling and digging, Mr Taylor finally burst through the surface of the sand, but the force of being pulled out caused him further injury, Nathan said.
“It was pretty gnarly when he popped out. I threw up,” he said.
“He broke. The suction, the force of everyone pulling.”
When they got him out, Mr Taylor did not have a pulse and rangers began performing CPR.
Rangers in the area also applied a defibrillator before paramedics arrived.
It’s understood it was 45 minutes before the man’s pulse returned.