Several of the fabled caves above More Mesa Beach collapsed over the weekend, marking the fourth such incident in 10 years and ending neighborhood concern over the late-night bonfire spots. A search on Saturday afternoon by county firefighters led officials to believe the cave-in injured no one, according to County Fire Captain David Zaniboni.
Firefighters responded at about 3:28 p.m. on Saturday to a report of a cave-in on the More Mesa bluffs, located east of Austin Road. According to Zaniboni, a collapse had closed in several of the caves, once popular hangouts for young people. County Fire’s Station 11 Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) Team used sound devices and probing cameras to search the area, but found no one trapped or injured beneath the rocks. No missing person reports have been filed, said Zaniboni. The bluffs remain very dangerous, he told reporters.
As the Santa Barbara Independent previously reported, in 2014 an 18-year-old UCSB student suffered head and chest injuries when the five-person-capacity cave partially collapsed above his group of friends. In 1989, 17-year-old Hugo Cruz, of Goleta, was killed in a sudden cave collapse.