Every month KRIS 6 recognizes a community member who goes above and beyond to help others. September’s KRIS 6 Angel award goes to a group of off-road rescuers who rescue people stuck out on the beach.
361 Off-Road Rescue group started in 2018 with just five members and has grown to over seven thousand members with 200 members patrolling the beach for people who are stuck.
Cody Renfro, one of the administrators of the group, said it all started with several jeep owners who started the group for rescues on the beach where tow trucks can’t go.
“We decided to make the off-road rescue page strictly for the rescues, for the people to ask for help," said Renfro.
And with all of the necessary equipment, rescue gear, and vehicles, members gave themselves a purpose. They've rescued people stuck all over the Coastal Bend even as far out as Victoria and Port Lavaca.
“We’ve done several rescues out in pins and they go out there they hook up they help the person as much as possible and if they can get out on their own they will if not we can tow them out using any means we can," said Renfro.
Another member of the group Brian Kirkwood said he used to work for a tow company and has rescued over 2,000 vehicles.
“When we are connecting to other people's vehicles to get them out, we will explain to them what we are doing and we will explain to them the risks because stuff happens, equipment fails sometimes your suction-cupped into the mud harder than we can actually tell," said Kirkwood.
“It just, its something that I can do to give back to the community and give back to people and let everyone know that we’re here to help that's it," said Kirkwood.
Renfro said, “our goal is to help everybody with as little damage to their vehicle as possible."
“That's the goal, keep everyone happy, and not ruin anyone's vacation, this is awesome," said Kirkwood.
Their services are voluntary and the only thing they ask for is you pay it forward.
KRIS 6 Sunrise reporter Corderro McMurry simulated his own vehicle getting stuck at the beach to demonstrate how the group would pull it out.