A red 2014 Jeep Grand Cherokee became a brief social media star when it got stuck in the water in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, during Hurricane Dorian. At first, its owner didn’t even know his car was there – until he saw it, with waves crashing into it – on TV.
The problems started with Joe Farrar drove the Jeep to the beach at 6:30 in the morning to take a picture of sunrise just before Dorian hit the Low Country. He got stuck in the sand, and couldn’t get out. Farrar had borrowed the car two weeks before from his cousin, Nicholas Feliciano. Farrar left the car on the beach in search of help.
Just after he left, someone saw the abandoned Jeep on the beach and called police. They came down and put a buoy on the bumper so they could find it later. They weren’t able to get a tow truck because the storm was moving in.
Other people walking on the beach started taking pictures of the Jeep as it was swept deeper and deeper into the water. They posted videos on the internet. By 1 in the afternoon the local TV station was playing a live video stream from the beach. Someone started a Twitter account; others created a Facebook page. Someone put the car up for auction on line. Eventually the red Jeep was on CNN and Inside Edition; The New York Times wrote about it.
For his part, Feliciano realized what had happened to his Jeep when police knocked on his door. Turn on the TV, they told him. That’s my car, he replied.
Two Myrtle Beach brothers, Joshua and Timothy Kipp, were watching pictures of the car inching deeper into the water and decided to do something themselves. During a lull in the storm, they drove down to the beach. Tim played “Amazing Grace” and “Taps” on his bagpipes, while Joshua filmed a video. They posted it on line; it went viral.
The next day, after the storm passed, a bulldozer pulled the Jeep out of the water. It was a total loss. But Feliciano’s sister-in-law started a GoFundMe page in the name of the red Jeep to raise money for hurricane victims in the Bahamas. “We may have lost a vehicle but that is small in comparison to what others have lost during this storm,” it said. Read more: