Kayakers rescued near Del Playa
ISLA VISTA — Santa Barbara County Fire Department water rescue personnel responded Monday to a report at 5:17 p.m. that a kayak carrying two male college-age subjects had flipped in the surf near Del Playa, between Camino Quarto and Camino Del Sur.
They reportedly were wearing wetsuits but no life jackets.
Rescue swimmers and one rescue watercraft responded.
One of the subjects was retrieved by a rescue swimmer at Camino Del Sur and safely returned to the beach. The other was assisted to shore, along with the kayak, by a shore crew at Camino Corto.
No injuries were reported, and a rescue helicopter and ambulance were canceled.
“We train for days like this to save a life, but … distressed swimmers/kayakers are hard to find in the dark with storm surf,” Capt. Scott Safechuck, the SBC’s public information officer, said. “We are thankful that no one is injured or worse.”
— Neil Hartstein
Historic tree falls, damages car
LOMPOC — No one was injured but a car was damaged Sunday when one of the historic stone pine trees fell in the 200 block of South H Street.
The tree fell about 10 a.m., and is believed to have been caused by water-saturated ground after the recent storms.
City of Lompoc Urban Forestry crews and the city streets division finished cleaning up the tree Sunday afternoon.
Urban Forestry Supervisor Sean O’Neil said, “So much rain in a short time can soften the ground, and in turn makes it difficult for the root system to sustain a large tree.”
He added that the trees are due to be inspected by a consulting arborist this year, which will now happen as soon as possible.
City urban forestry crews are inspecting the other stone pines for signs of storm damage.
Mr. O’Neil noted that trees can fall even with the best of care, and encouraged the public to use caution around all trees, especially during stormy weather.
“If anyone sees or hears anything that causes concern with a City of Lompoc tree, please don’t hesitate to contact us so we can take a look,” he said.
City of Lompoc Urban Forestry can be reached at: (805) 875-8034. The city’s urban forestry web page can be accessed at: https://www.cityoflompoc.com/government/departments/public-works/urban-forestry.
— Neil Hartstein
Goleta police to conduct traffic safety operation
GOLETA — The Goleta Police Department will conduct a traffic safety operation today from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. focused on the most dangerous driver behaviors that put the safety of people biking or walking at risk.
These violations include speeding, making illegal turns, failing to yield or provide right of way to bicyclists or pedestrians, or failing to stop for signs and signals.
“Cars aren’t the only ones who use our roads,” Traffic Supervisor Sergeant Noel Rivas said. “Bicyclists and pedestrians have the same rights but face even more risk without the protections vehicles have. Please be cautious.”
The Goleta Police Department offers steps that drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists can take to greatly reduce the risk of getting injured or in a crash:
Pedestrians are urged to be predictable and use crosswalks, when available.
Take notice of approaching vehicles and practice due care.
Do not walk or run into the path of a vehicle. At 30 mph, a driver needs at least 90 feet to stop.
Be visible. Make it easy for drivers to see you – wear light colors, reflective material and carry a flashlight, particularly at dawn, dusk or at night.
Be extra careful crossing streets or entering crosswalks at night when it is harder to see, or when crossing busier streets with more lanes and higher speed limits.
Drivers are urged to follow the speed limit and slow down at intersections, and to be prepared to stop for pedestrians at marked and unmarked crosswalks.
Avoid blocking crosswalks while waiting to make a right-hand turn.
Never drive impaired.
Bicyclists are urged to obey traffic laws, use hand signals, use lights at night (front white light and rear red reflector) and wear a helmet.
Bicyclists must travel in the same direction of traffic and have the same requirements as any slow-moving vehicle.
Avoid the door zone: do not ride too closely to parked cars.
If there’s a bike lane, use it unless making a left turn, passing or approaching a place where a right turn is allowed.
Yield to pedestrians. Bicyclists must yield the right-of-way to pedestrians within marked crosswalks or within unmarked crosswalks at intersections.
Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
— Neil Hartstein