Page last updated at 10:58 GMT, Monday, 5 May 2008 11:58 UK

Seagulls and cold beat sand man

Mark McGowan buried on Margate beach
Mark McGowan managed to stay in the sand for 30 hours

A performance artist has given up his attempt to stay buried on a Kent beach for two days, blaming the weight of the sand, the cold - and fierce seagulls.

Mark McGowan began his stunt at Margate on Saturday and managed 30 hours buried up to his neck, with short breaks.

But he said: "I just couldn't do it any more - physically and mentally I lost it. I'm now going home to get the sand out of my ears and everywhere else."

He said his biggest worry had been that seagulls might peck at his eyes.

Mr McGowan's stunt had been to encourage people to take more British seaside holidays rather than going abroad.

He gave up his attempt, which was part of the Margate Rocks art and environment festival, at 1800 BST on Sunday.

"I just got worn down in the end... even in the day it was cold because of the wet sand.

"The worst thing was the seagulls... they would come really close, and I had sunglasses on, but they would've pecked your eye out," he said.

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