I completely agree that there are situations you don't need to get involved in. However, going back to my original post, there are situations where driving by isn't, or shouldn't be, an option.
Old people deserve help when you are in the position to offer it, even if they were inexperienced enough to drive a low clearance Subaru out on the beach.
As River mentioned if the Stuck person is not exhibiting signs of gratitude it makes it more problematic. If they are glaring at you it is best to leave it to the Pros...if it looks like they cannot afford the Pros i.e. the very young and old, you stop and get them out, after all you are one of the Pros.
When I lived at the beach in the back of my F150 (No one I knew on Hatteras had Toyotas back then, a few Nissan's but no Toyotas) I kept a good jack, 2'x4' piece of plywood for the jack and assorted 4"x4" and 6"x6" wood blocking for supporting the frame after you jacked up the framed out vehicle and also full length shovel and 50 feet of 3/4" rope (Snatch Straps were not common in those days),
The shovel was to offer to the fella on his knees desperately scratching at the sand under his framed out vehicle with a sand spike or in some cases with their hands if they were really unprepared.
Maybe fifty people I have assisted on the beach, depending on the time of year, say in the winter it was fun just to speak with someone new who was not from the Island. it is different out in the boats, you help everyone out there.
In forty years of driving the OBX beaches I got stuck twice, both times the 4x4 went out on my vehicle. The 4x4 solenoid for the older GM Trucks is prone to that in the salty environment that is Hatteras, it is placed on the front differential way down low. Both times I was assisted by someone I did not know.
Pay It Forward.