The red jeep quickly captured the attention of the public and launched “jeep watch 2019” on Thursday after it was found stuck in the sand near the Myrtle Beach shoreline. The Myrtle Beach Police Department tells TIME that when officers were called to the scene, they discovered the SUV was locked and abandoned. “It was in what looked like a washout and it was stuck there,” a police spokesman says.
Brittany and Nick Feliciano identified themselves as the “actual owners of the red Jeep” on a GoFundMe page started to raise money for donation money for UNICEF to aid with Dorian relief in the Bahamas.
At the time, according to the WMBF News report, the anonymous owner said that his cousin had borrowed the jeep to drive to the beach and capture a video of the pre-storm sunrise, but ended up getting stuck. “So he got on the beach and started driving it,” WMBF News quoted him saying. “I guess there’s that runoff there and he didn’t realize it was in front of him, he was looking out the window when he went off and got stuck.”
The owner went on to say that although his cousin tried to get help removing the jeep, the steadily worsening weather conditions made it impossible.
But that didn’t stop people from flocking to the beach to take photos and videos of the jeep as the tide rose and heavy rains and winds began to batter the coastline. And of course, there were red jeep memes.
“What we ended up doing was closing off that area of the beach,” the police spokesman tells TIME. “The issue was that people kept climbing onto [the jeep] and getting near it during the storm. With the waves moving in and out, it became very dangerous.”
One video taken at the scene even shows a man standing next to the jeep while playing “Amazing Grace” on the bagpipes. However, the funeral dirge turned out to be a little premature, as the SUV survived the night on the beach without getting carried away by the ocean.
The jeep was removed from the beach on Friday morning. “It took a backhoe and lifted it up and pulled it right off the beach,” the police spokesman says. “Last I saw, [the jeep was] being loaded onto a tow truck and I’m not sure where it went from there.”
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