The teenager was thought to have been digging a sand dune at Budle Bay when it began to collapse on top of him.
Northumbria Police were alerted to the emergency at 2.15pm on Sunday, and officers and a Great North Air Ambulance Service (GNAAS) helicopter, members of the HM Coastguard and North East Ambulance Service all raced to the scene.
They team worked to free the boy's head from the sand so he could breathe, before finally managing to pull him from the collapsed dune at 4pm.
He was then air lifted to a Newcastle hospital where he was declared fit and well.
Jim Entwistle, from the GNAAS said it had been a long job to rescue the lad, and that he was lucky to have survived the weight of the dune:
"He must have been buried for a couple of hours. It was quite a long rescue. I know they managed to get his head free so he could breathe. The weight of the sand was the issue."
"We took a doctor to the scene so they could get to him as soon as he was freed."
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