LocalNews Briefs

Microburst in Santa Barbara caused capsized sailboats, one sunk

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated from its print version.

SANTA BARBARA ― People were enjoying the Labor Day Weekend sailing and paddling when severe weather hit Santa Barbara Harbor on Sept. 3.

A sudden downpour of rain followed by winds up to 79.9 miles per hour suddenly hit the beaches and swept across the harbor in what has been called a microburst.

“The Harbor Patrol was in the main harbor channel at the time and reported a white out of rain and wind, and when it cleared numerous people in the water. They reported transporting 16 people to shore,” Lee Waldron, fire operations division chief for the city of Santa Barbara, reported. “Many of the people in the water were off of kayaks, paddleboards, and Seashell sailboats, but also included a 22 sailboat which sank just outside the harbor.”

A couple Harbor Patrol officers witnessed the wind lifting a sailboat completely out of the water exposing the hull and keel with the dock lines keeping the sailboat in place, Santa Barbara Waterfront Director Scott Riedman told The Log.

Marina 4 had reported damage from canvases blown off and torn to a broken mast and a city dock trash can missing. The extent of all the waterfront damage from the extreme weather is still be accessed.

Some injuries were reported, including a teenager badly injured. No fatalities have been reported.

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