SANTA BARBARA COUNTY - Shortly after noon on a stormy January 28, 2021, a driver found herself trapped on a road in which a swollen creek was flooding both in front and behind her vehicle. It happened on Refugio Road along the Gaviota Coast in Santa Barbara County.
“The driver did the right thing and rather than attempting to drive through floodwater, called for assistance,” said California Statewide Law Enforcement Association (CSLEA) President Alan Barcelona. “A trained water rescue team which included CSLEA member and State Parks Peace Officer-Lifeguard Philip Hauck and Santa Barbara County firefighters rescued the driver and brought her to a safe area away from the floodwater.”
The Santa Barbara County Fire Department identified the driver as Devon Voigtsberger, 26, seen in the center of rescuers crossing the muddy water.
“Floodwater can look shallow and easy to cross when in fact it can be very dangerous, so rescue teams use every safety precaution when performing water rescues including safety ropes and personal flotation equipment,” said Barcelona. “Nice job, team, stay safe and thank you for being on call to help with storm related incidents.”