The Santa Barbara County Fire Department’s Water Rescue Team was called to action on Christmas morning, but came up empty when a capsized boat was unoccupied. It turns out the boat’s owner, a Lompoc resident, had known about the boat’s condition when he was contacted the next day by authorities, but hadn’t yet done anything about it.
The boat was reported to be about one-quarter of a mile offshore by Goleta Beach visitors just before noon. When the rescue squad arrived, the bow of the capsized boat was bobbing vertically in the water east of Goleta pier. Rescuers on two jet skis in the water and more in a helicopter above searched the boat and the area around the boat, but no victims were found. According to Capt. Eli Iskow, several personal belongings were found in the debris floating around the boat.
The owner was not present when the boat went down, according to Sheriff’s Department spokesperson Drew Sugars, who didn’t know where the boat was normally kept or how it ended up at its current location. Authorities are currently working with the owner to take care of the boat.