Dramatic rescue when mom drives self, kids into ocean

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DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (CNN) — The Florida mother who drove a minivan with her three children inside into the ocean off Daytona Beach was to be given a mental health evaluation, a spokesman for the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday.

None of the family members was injured in the bizarre event, which occurred Tuesday afternoon on the Atlantic beach, which allows car traffic.

According to a news release from sheriff’s spokesman Gary Davidson, the woman drove the minivan south on the sand, parallel to the shore, then turned east into water at least 3 feet deep.

Beach safety officers and bystanders helped remove the people from the minivan, which was bobbing in the surf.

The sister of the woman involved had called police earlier, concerned about her mental wellness, according to a Daytona Beach Police incident report.

The motorist was stopped by police away from the beach. She was allowed to continue because an officer and detective felt she was not a danger to herself or others, according to the incident report. The report referenced the Baker Act, which allows for detention of people believed to be impaired by mental illness and who possibly pose a risk of harm.

The beach incident occurred more than an hour later.

CNN is not identifying the woman, her children or her sister.

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