Three More Boats Ashore Converge with Santa Barbara Homeless Camps

By Heal the Ocean

This week, 3 more boats broke free of their moorings off East Beach and landed at various places on our coastline, including the East Beach Bathhouse and below “Graveyards,” near Butterfly Beach. 

Boat #1 was fortunately intercepted by the Santa Barbara harbor patrol before hitting the shore. This prevented the alterative and familiar scenario of breaking apart along the shoreline and contributing fuel, oil and numerous toxic chemicals on the beach. Boat #2 washed ashore near the East Beach Bathhouse, but was towed back out to sea to be properly secured.

Boat #3 (pictured above) washed ashore during Tuesday’s storm and ran aground below the Santa Barbara cemetery 50 feet inside the Santa Barbara County line. Carson Chevitz, Owner of TowBoatUS Ventura, is working to get the boat off the beach, but as of this writing, the vessel is still there – and there isn’t much time before it starts to tear apart in the surf.

Heal the Ocean is keeping a close watch on the situation

Less than 30 yards away from where this last vessel washed ashore, there were six encampments occupied by approximately five individuals experiencing homelessness. Four of the encampments were in disarray due to the heavy rain and hightide. HTO Field Director Harry Rabin noted that the camps were situated beneath a steep cliff with boulders above. More rain could have caused these boulders to come loose, lethal to any person below. In interviews with the campers, Rabin learned that three out of the five people had contacted City Net for housing options, but that they have been awaiting help for months. 

Boat #3 Approximately 50 Feet Inside of the County Line (Harry Rabin)

Heal the Ocean continues to monitor the Wrecked/Derelict boat problem, and is leading a stakeholder group composed of city and county officials, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Santa Barbara harbor department, and others, to put an end to the constant trashing of our beaches with improperly anchored and unattended vessels. The cost of their removal after hitting the beach is high.

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


Written by healtheocean

Heal the Ocean focuses on wastewater infrastructure – sewers and septic systems – as well as ocean dumping practices that have contributed to ocean pollution. They are focused on Santa Barbara County, but their methods now serve as a model for other coastal communities across the country. Learn more at

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