SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - The Santa Barbara Harbor Patrol is checking and double checking every vessel that's moving in and around the harbor, and especially this week during Safe Boating Week. It annual takes place before Memorial Day Weekend.
Lt. Nathan Alldredge with the Santa Barbara Harbor Patrol says his crew is educating and gaining compliance to the rules. "We want them on the water as much as we can be."
The officers know boaters of all types are here, "having a good time but have all the equipment and tools to do that safely."
There are more than a thousands vessels in the harbor. Some never go out and only serve as a home, but all are inspected for safety compliance.
When others are in motion, often the officers are familiar with them, especially the commercial vessels. "So at times when they might have an issue with their engine, we might be called out for an emergency tow. "
Before an issues surfaces, relationships are developed and the contacts are not always on the water, but at the docks.
Many boat owners know the patrol staff and that reduces the number of concerns, violations and emergencies.
At the harbor entrance, it's often an ocean going traffic jam.
Alldredge said while on board a patrol boat, "activity coming in and out of the harbor here we have some dredging going on, we have some commercial fisherman, we have recreational boaters, we have sailors, regatta's, a lot of people come out here to use and enjoy the ocean."
Checks for safety equipment also include a review of permits and a boater ID card. For standup paddle boarders, they need safety vests.
The Harbor Patrol also has zero tolerance for speeding boaters in the harbor or having a child under 13 without a life vest, which is the law.
(More details, video and photos will be added here later today)