SANTA BARBARA ― Are city employees and a business owner being sued for the death of Davies Kabogoza in Santa Barbara Harbor? The 29-year-old man drowned after renting a standup paddleboard from Santa Barbara Sailing Center in April.
Kabogoza’s family officially filed suit against the Santa Barbara Waterfront Department, the owner of a sailing center and other city staff.
Santa Barbara Harbor Waterfront Director Scott Riedman stated he is not being sued at this point but confirmed a claim has been filed with “our Risk Management Department for damages in excess of $25,000, which is the first step.”
He said officers responded within three to four minutes after the incident occurred, but Kabogoza was already underwater.
Kabogoza’s family claim the sailing center did not provide adequate safety equipment nor ask if Kabogoza could swim, according to news reports.
Riedman said his department patrols the harbor at all times and regularly checks for proper equipment on watercrafts including paddleboards.
The drowning was a first for the Santa Barbara Sailing Center, according to Riedman.
Santa Barbara Sailing Center was recognized at the start of this year for 2016 Small Business of the Year.
Skip Abed, owner of the sailing center, was unavailable for comment.
“It was a real unfortunate incident,” Riedman commented.