SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - Santa Barbara City firefighters rescued a 73-year-old woman Tuesday morning after she became trapped waist-deep in sand at the mouth of Mission Creek.
The recent surf from Hurricane Fabio pushed water into the river mouth and created a "quicksand" effect, said fire officials.
When firefighters arrived, they tried to get close to her but started becoming trapped themselves. So they had to change tactics.
"The firefighters really had to think on their toes and improvise. We ended up using a roof ladder and laid it across the area to give us a little more stability, so we could climb in and help the woman out," said Engineer Rich Griguoli.
They pulled the woman, who was visiting from Ireland, to safety. She was examined medical personnel and was not hurt.
The area of the beach where the rescue took place shortly before 8 a.m. is located in the area of Garden Street and Cabrillo Boulevard. Fire officials warn visitors to pay attention and use caution when walking on the beach in this area.
Firefighters used shovels to fill the hole created by the rescue operation to prevent others from becoming trapped in the future.