Heal the Ocean works to keep boats off the shore
To prevent boats from washing ashore, Heal the Ocean has initiated a “Boat Wreck” Stakeholder group of Santa Barbara officials, waterfront officers, Coast Guard and other oceanic agents.
The group was formed in response to recent shipwrecks being found on the beach, necessitating their removal.
One example is the boat removed earlier this month from East Beach.
During the early morning hours on Sept. 10, the extreme high tide and surf pushed an anchored sailboat onto East Beach, near the foot of the Laguna Creek Channel. While beachgoers escaping the heat looked on at this disaster, Heal the Ocean Field Advisor Harry Rabin began to work on the problem.
Mr. Rabin showed up early the next day, working by himself, to remove toxic polluting items and relocate them above the tideline.
As he worked, he called for help from various agencies including Harbor Patrol, Coast Guard, Patriot Environmental Services, TowBoatUS and more to recruit help and develop a plan of action.
Additionally, he located the vessel’s owner and had him remove 40 gallons of diesel fuel before demolition the following morning.
The highest concern was further toxins such as fuel and oil entering the ocean. The last step required owner permission in addition to all appropriate agencies involved, before Heal the Ocean would be allowed to remove the vessel. This was achieved by 5 p.m. Sept. 11, and the call to Brian Borgatello, president of MarBorg Industries, was made.
An agreement was made for the wreck to be removed from the beach expeditiously the following morning. Heal the Ocean guaranteed payment for the operation. At 5 a.m. Sept. 12, Mr. Borgatello was there on the site with his crew. So was Mr. Rabin. Everybody went to work.
Heal the Ocean Field Advisor Harry Rabin, top left, keeps an eye on the boat. Mr. Rabin removed toxic polluting items from the boat and relocated them above the tideline.
Their efforts paid off.
By the time everyone in Santa Barbara was waking up for their morning coffee, the boat wreck was gone, and the beach was raked and clean.
Mr. Rabin noted that “no boat debris, nor even a single drop of fuel, oil, coolant or other liquid-based toxins made it into the sea during the entire operation.” “We thank Mayor Randy Rowse, Councilwoman Kristen Sneddon, City Administrator Rebecca Bjork, the Harbor Patrol office, Coast Guard and others for responding to our calls for help Sunday morning,” HTO Executive Director Hillary Hauser said.