This story has been updated following the printed version.
SANTA BARBARA ― Boaters going in and out of Santa Barbara Harbor were advised to do so only during high tide. Ocean swells and shifting sands created treacherously shallow water due to stormy weather.
“Shallowest spot in the harbor entrance…is 7 feet on a zero tide,” Harbor Operations Manager Mick Kronman stated on Feb. 27.
Kronman asserts the harbor has never been closed but advised boaters to check with Harbor Patrol on the conditions before venturing out.
“Some larger-draft vessels are unable to enter or exit at all,” news outlet, KEYT, maintained. KEYT also reported a Safety Zone has been established by Harbor Patrol at the entrance of the harbor.
Dredging commenced on March 1 to alleviate the issue of shallow waterways, according to Kronman.
“Dredge is working 24 hours /day and will probably stand down for a week or two starting this weekend before resuming operations and completing our spring dredging cycle,” Waterfront Director and Harbor Master Scott Riedman stated in an email to The Log on March 8.
There is now a narrow channel as confirmed by Riedman.
Boaters can now enter and exit the harbor at all tides, according to Waterfront Facilities Manager Karl Treiberg.
“The Safety Zone designation expires on March 16, provided full resolution of any navigation issues at the harbor,” KEYT reported. “Mariners should contact Harbor Patrol on VHF Ch. 12 or 16 or at (805) 564-5530 with any questions about harbor conditions.”