San Diego

Family Rescued from Santa Barbara Mudslides by Local U.S. Coast Guard Says Thank You

A family rescued from a mudslide in Montecito is saying thank you to the local Coast Guard crew that saved them.

Seventeen people have died and another 43 are missing after mudslides crushed homes to the north in Santa Barbara County.

Hundreds, however, have been rescued.

NBC 7 first introduced you to a group from the U.S. Coast Guard San Diego Sector on Tuesday after they made a daring rescue of a family of 5 trapped in their Montecito home.

Now, we’re hearing from that family as they share a message for the brave group that saved them.

"Words can't even express how horrible and scary it was," explained Angelina Cordero.

It’s hard for her to describe the horrific moments after mudslides tore through their home in the middle of the night.

"Seconds later, the whole house was filled with mud. We were floating on top of our bed," she said.

Mud almost four feet high was inside their home in a matter of seconds.

Cordero and her husband got their son, 9, daughter, 3, and 7-week-old son into the attic.

Her husband also carried their dogs to higher ground.

There, they called 911 and waited six long and exhausting hours while talking to a dispatcher on the phone.

"She kept me calm the whole time. Pretty amazing," Cordero said, holding back tears.

Then, a sign of hope.

"Billy and I went down to the house and the whole time we were talking about let’s just keep the parents calm to make sure they're aware that we're going to keep them safe," said Coast Guard Petty Officer Aaron Custer.

They brought each family member up to the roof, dogs too, and hoisted them up to safety.

Now, Cordero and her family are forever grateful, sharing these meaningful words of gratitude:

"We love you and you're our guardian angels. Thank you so much because if it wasn't for you, we wouldn't be here," she said.

The Cordero’s lost everything in the mudslides. A GoFundMe page has been created to help the family.

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