Heal the Ocean Organizes the Removal of Washed Ashore Boat

Update by Heal the Ocean
​September 12, 2022


All photos by Harry Rabin, On the Wave Productions.

During the early morning hours of this past Saturday, the extreme high tide and surf pushed an anchored sailboat onto East Beach, near the foot of the Laguna Creek Channel. While beach-goers escaping the heat looked on at this disaster, Heal the Ocean Field Advisor Harry Rabin began to work on the problem.

Early Sunday morning Harry was there, working by himself, removing toxic polluting items and relocating them above the tideline. As he worked, he called for help from various agencies including Harbor Patrol, Coast Guard, Patriot Environmental Services, Towboat US, and more to recruit help and develop a plan of action. Additionally, he located the vessel’s owner and had them remove 40 gallons of diesel fuel before demolition the following morning. The highest concern was further toxins such as fuel and oil entering the ocean.

The last step required owner permission in addition to all appropriate agencies involved, before Heal the Ocean would be allowed to remove the vessel. This was achieved by 5pm on Sunday, and the call to Brian Borgatello, President of MarBorg Industries, was made. An agreement was made for the wreck to be removed from the beach expeditiously the following morning. Heal the Ocean guaranteed payment for the operation.

At 5 a.m. today, Monday, Brian was there on the site with his crew. So was Harry. Everybody went to work.

By the time everyone in Santa Barbara was waking up for their morning coffee, the boat wreck was GONE, and the beach was raked and clean. Harry noted that “no boat debris, nor even a single drop of fuel, oil, coolant, or other liquid based toxins made it into the sea during the entire operation.”

Heal the Ocean has initiated a “Boat Wreck” Stakeholder group of City and Council officials, waterfront officers, Coast Guard and other oceanic agents, and we will be meeting again soon to work on a way to prevent these boat groundings from happening.

We thank Mayor Randy Rowse, Councilwoman Kristen Sneddon, City Administrator Rebecca Bjork, the Harbor Patrol office, Coast Guard and others for responding to our calls for help Sunday morning.

Harry Rabin, HTO Field Advisor, keeping an eye on boat.

Not a drop of oil or engine fluid – or anything was spilled. 

Mayor Randy Rowse at the job site Monday morning. 
Brian Borgatello (right) overseeing operation. 

From all of us at Heal the Ocean to all of you, thank you, and please stay safe.

Heal the Ocean Rallies to Remove Washed Ashore Boat Near Stearns Wharf

Update by Hilary Hauser of Heal the Ocean
September 11, 2022

Harry finally made contact with earthlings. Patriot is coming down to empty the oil, gas etc. Borgatello coming at 6 am tomorrow to crunch it up. Harry met the owner. No insurance. He paid $20K for the boat (which is what HTO is prepared to pay Borgatello).

This is the last straw, we’re going to convene our working group and get a plan to get before both City Council and County Supervisors – an ordinance – to pull all those boats out that are not on a paid mooring.Or that don’t run. Or that are not insured. San Diego is doing this. Harry is going to contact someone in SD and see how they did it.

Hto CAN’T keep paying 20K here and $20K there. We have to stop it.

Reported by Hillary Hauser of Heal the Ocean (HTO)

Here we go again. We are calling all over the City to get PERMISSION FROM THE CITY TO GET THIS BOAT OFF THE BEACH. It’s City Beach (they even marked it with city yellow tag). High tide is coming in, boat is already half buried.

Harry Rabin is down there working by himself. We called waterfront dept., of course no answer, I’ve messaged randy Rowse with these pictures. HIGH TIDE IS AT 6 p.m.

HTO will pay MarBorg for hauling it off the beach before it breaks up, but we need permission, and nobody home. With might go in there without permission – if it comes to that. It’s half buried already. 

Photos: Heal the Ocean

By Naomi

A boat washed to shore Saturday morning at the pier.


Written by Anonymous

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  1. With the amount of rules, prohibitions, regulations, bans, etc in this county and state, how are these boats allowed to stay moored out there without insurance? Does no one check up on these boats? Just seems weird that in a place personified by aesthetic rules, some of those barges are allowed to remain without any question. Not saying this nice boat was, but I’ve been out in that anchorage plenty on my kayak and some are just floating shipwrecks that have been there for years.

  2. Mismanaged City of Santa Barbara Waterfront Department once again.
    Mismanaged and poorly policed coastline, what with the new panga and all washed up in Cito. THEY PROBABLY COULD HAVE OPERATED THE PANGA RIGHT INTO THE HARBOR AND UNLOADED, NO ONE WOULD HAVE NOTICED.
    Just wait until a cruise ship wrecks here. Notice how the City silenced the cruise ship discussion with the subcommittee that doesn’t meet.
    Heal the Ocean should not have to pay their precious resources to clean up City of Santa Barbara property.
    The asleep at the wheel City Council is straight no account.
    Email the no accounts and tell them your opinion of their job performance.

  3. Arrrrrrrrgggggggg. I lost me ship in that bloody sea witch of a storm. Tis a miracle me crew and I survived it. Now we have to steal another ship for our piracy on the 7 seas. “Lads! Let’s go to the nearest tavern to drink ale and rum and to make plans to steal another ship at the harbor.”

  4. Things fall overboard, but the real problems are the old boats and the bums. Unfortunately, the harbor is filled with many bums living on dilapidated old vessels. Most of which are neither sea-worthy or habitable. If you spend any time there (lease a slip, own a boat) you know what a mess these people live in and leave. Most of the owners of vessels who lease slips care for them and maintain them. But just like on land, it’s the bums, that cause most of the problems.

    The city should make every vessel prove its seaworthiness, every year – including a full hull and engine/tank inspection for any and all leaks or worse, bottom-paint decay. The older, non-maintained boats are coated in heavy metals and rusting tanks are leeching a lot more than feces, urine and trash into the water…

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