Lifeguards free surfer trapped in trench along Mission Beach

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SAN DIEGO – It took a half dozen lifeguards to save a surfer who became trapped in a trench in Mission Beach Sunday.

San Diego lifeguards were forced to pull the trapped man, identified as Louie Lopez, out of the hole around 5:45 p.m.

Lopez and his friends took a break from surfing and dug two big holes in the sand in Mission Beach near Dover Court.


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“We had an idea to make a tunnel connecting one hole to the other hole,” Lopez said.

Lopez, who is 6-feet, 4-inches tall, went into a hole and started digging a tunnel in hopes of reaching the other hole. The tide slowly filled a hole, pitting Lopez in a sticky situation.

“The tide just kept getting bigger and bigger filling up the hole," said Jevonte’ Mckenzie, a friend of Lopez. "He got stuck and we thought we could get him out, but it was happening too quick."

Friends watched as the water continued to fill in the hole, locking Lopez in place and trapping in the trench.

“You know the phrase you can dig yourself into a hole and just can’t get out, and that’s kind of what happened,” said Mckenzie.

Lifeguards rushed over and started shoveling sand out of the way. They used surfboards to keep the ocean water at bay.

“All the pressure and the suction from the water and the sand just made it all bad,” Lopez's friend said. “At first it was funny, but then we realized it was serious.”

Lopez eventually was pulled out.

“Worth it, but not worth it at the same time, hopefully we just stay away from holes from now on,” Lopez said.

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