About Us Contact Us Privacy Policy Terms of Use Accuracy & Fairness Corrections & Clarifications Ethics Code Your Ad Choices
© MEAWW All rights reserved

Who was Sean Nagel? Man, 37, dies after SAND DUNE COLLAPSE buried him alive while he filmed sunrise

A person walking on the beach found Nagel’s feet sticking out of sand, authorities say
UPDATED AUG 10, 2022
Sean Nagel died after sand dune collapsed on him at the beach (Photo: Will Nagel/Facebook and WPTV/Youtube)
Sean Nagel died after sand dune collapsed on him at the beach (Photo: Will Nagel/Facebook and WPTV/Youtube)

MARTIN COUNTY, FLORIDA: A man's body was found Sunday, August 7 morning in Florida beneath a collapsed sand dune, according to MCSO investigators. After initial investigations, detectives determined that the man’s death was accidental. 

According to the Martin County Sheriff's Office, a Hutchinson Island beachgoer reportedly noticed a body buried beneath the sand and called emergency services. The victim, later identified as Sean Nagel by family members, likely died hours before he was discovered. 


TRAGIC deaths of Te’Mari, A’Miyah, and Zi’Ariel Oliver: Texas sisters, aged 5, 8, and 9, found dead in pond

Florida couple arrested after cops find 6-year-old unconscious with his head in hotel toilet

"It appears that the man died hours earlier from asphyxia as a result of being trapped underneath the sand," the Martin County Sheriff's office said in a statement. Sheriff William Snyder confirmed to WPTV that when first responders dug up Nagel, sand was discovered in his lungs.

According to family members, he frequently used a GoPro camera to capture the sunrise and that's when the dune would have collapsed on him. The camera was discovered at the scene facing the water.

"Detectives say no foul play was evident, and it appears that the victim was resting underneath a sand dune while taking video of a sunrise, but the dune collapsed, trapping him underneath," officials said.

According to Treasure Coast Newspapers, a GoPro camera and a plastic bag was reportedly discovered with Nagel. The sheriff stated that although toxicology results are awaited, investigators do not anticipate them to alter their perception that Nagel died due to asphyxiation.

Will Nagel, Nagel's elder brother, confirmed the news in a post on social media and stated that the family is preparing memorial services. "I am grief-stricken and still in disbelief to tell you all that my younger brother Sean Alexander Nagel is no longer with us on this earth," Will wrote. "Sean died tragically and accidentally on Sunday, August 7, 2022, when a sand dune at the beach here in Martin County collapsed on top of him."

"Please remember to enjoy your life and don't take a single second for granted," he ended his post.


Brian Defanski, a friend of Nagel's, also remembered him and referred to him as a "brother" in a Facebook post: "I'll never forget skipping school for bagels and throwing two-liter bottles of soda off your roof and adventures through the woods and chats about philosophy and nature and dinosaurs and music," Defanski wrote, "and that stupid loud stereo in your explorer and your leopard hair in middle school and watching titanic at the movies like eight times."

He continued: "I have a lifetime's worth of memories packed into twenty-five years, and I feel bad for anyone who never got to know you. you will forever be missed."