Kayakers, surfers, and boaters head out to Platform Holly in the Santa Barbara Channel to protest oil drilling and unfurl a #crudeawakening banner. (Aug. 22, 2015)
Paul Wellman

Venoco employees working on Platform Holly last weekend rescued two kayakers whose boat capsized 200 yards north of the Santa Barbara Channel drilling rig.

Venoco spokesperson Aaaron McLear said at approximately 3 p.m., workers observed a man swimming toward the rig and directed him toward a ladder on its northeast corner. They helped the man aboard, and he explained his two-person kayak had tipped and filled with water. His partner was still with the kayak, he said.

A Venoco crew boat was dispatched to find the stranded man, who was discovered with a cut toe but otherwise uninjured. The kayak sank when one of its straps broke as the crew tried to retrieve it. McLear said workers then radioed the mainland to arrange for transportation for the two men.

Last month, a flotilla of surfers and kayakers staged a high seas protest in front of Platform Holly in the name of safer drilling. The company responded that it supports calls for better inspection standards.


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