Orange County Fire Authority. Photo by John Schreiber.
Orange County Fire Authority. Photo by John Schreiber.

Firefighters Monday rescued two people who were stranded overnight inside a pickup stuck in the rain-swollen Trabuco Creek in the Trabuco Canyon area near Rancho Santa Margarita.

Firefighters went the general area about 7:15 a.m. on a report of a white van in the water, but found no sign of anyone in the vehicle, said Capt. Larry Kurtz of the Orange County Fire Authority.

Rescuers kept searching the area, and about two miles upstream they found a pickup occupied by a man and woman, who were rescued unharmed, Kurtz said.

“It was pure luck that we found them,” Kurtz said.

The 62-year-old man and 50-year-old woman who braved a night in the pickup truck had a cell phone, but they could not get reception in the area, officials said.

The couple was attempting to get out of the area due to the heavy storms, according to sheriff’s officials. They got stuck just west of cabins in Trabuco Canyon about a half-mile west of Holy Jim Canyon.

If they hadn’t been rescued, the two might have had to spend at least another day there before the flowing water subsided, sheriff’s officials said.

Investigators later determined the white van had been abandoned, Kurtz said.

—City News Service

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