Monday went from bad to worse for two visitors at the Oceano Dunes when their SUV got stuck nearly up to its roof in Arroyo Grande Creek, and they ended up getting arrested once they made it to safety.
The two were driving in a Ford Explorer across the creek that formed after recent storms when the vehicle became stuck around 2:45 p.m. and sunk into the sand, according to Dena Bellman, an associate parks and recreation specialist for the Oceano Dunes division of California State Parks.
A video taken by KSBY reporter Megan Abundis shows the vehicle almost completely submerged in the creek. Two surfers who saw the vehicle in distress rushed in and helped the two occupants and a dog to safety.
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Lifeguards and heavy equipment operators helped pull the vehicle out of the sand, and no one was injured, Bellman said.
However, after the two escaped their inundated SUV, State Parks rangers arrested the driver on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol and the passenger for an outstanding warrant, Bellman said.
A video taken by Abundis shows a tractor-like vehicle towing the SUV out of the sand and across the beach.
The creek area is not closed off, and other drivers traveled through the area without a problem, Bellman said.
“It’s flowing, but it’s passable,” she said.