Sloan and Maddox Mattingly were playing on a beach in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea when they became trapped in the sand. The incident occurred while they were on vacation with their parents, according to the Broward Sheriff’s Office.

At around 3:16 p.m. on Tuesday, multiple agencies responded to the emergency. Cellphone footage obtained by NBC South Florida showed beachgoers using their hands to free the children.
Rescuers used support boards and shovels to dig the siblings out from a hole about 5 feet deep, according to Sandra King, spokesperson for Pompano Beach Fire Rescue.

The duration of their entrapment is unclear, and the beach had no lifeguards. Both children were taken to the hospital, where Sloan later died, while Maddox is stable, as reported by WPTV of West Palm Beach.

The Town of Lauderdale-By-The-Sea expressed their grief on Facebook, saying, “Our hearts are heavy in LBTS today after learning two children were trapped in the sand.”
Following the incident, the American Lifeguard Association warned about the dangers of sand holes and advocated for increased beach patrols and better emergency response training.

Bernard J. Fisher II, the association’s director of health and safety, emphasized the importance of these measures, stating, “The recent incident in Lauderdale-By-The-Sea is a heart-wrenching reminder of why we must work together to keep our beaches safe.”

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