DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - People in Daytona Beach say the sand is softer than ever, and they're seeing more drivers getting stuck and needing help. One local has taken on the task and started his own business out of pulling them free.
John Gardella seems to know everyone on the beach. This summer, he registered Sand Tow charging $40 a tow. Gardella says the sand is softer than he's ever seen. He blames dry weather, a lack of seaweed on the beach and mostly an influx of red coquina sand he says comes down from Flagler Beach.
His advice is to avoid the white rippled sand, especially where it's elevated. "Like my grandfather used to say, find a need and fill it," Gardella said.
Gardella, a retired Marine, found the right opportunity but says he's in it to help people.
"A large part of this job is going up and having a lady that’s balling her eyes out because she’s stuck on the beach and being able to, in ten minutes, turn her around and get her excited and high-fiving you that she’s off the beach," Gardella said.
Gardella thinks it could take a tropical storm or hurricane to get rid of all the red coquina sand; otherwise, the beach could stay soft for months.