Three wrecked boats have been crushed and removed from Santa Barbara beaches, before they become hazards to the near shore environment.
Aggressive tides have threatened to break up the vessels, even more than the damage they have already from crashing into the shore a week ago in a violent storm.
Brian Borgatello, with Marborg Industries, brought a special crew out under a contract with the city to remove the vessels. Heavy equipment was used and then tedious work was done by hand as well to get every piece of debris into a dumpster.
“We are careful about the (broken) glass and a lot of the boats have tools that end up around them. We want to make sure come summertime when all the kids are around with bare feet they aren’t stepping on glass and screw drivers and do our best to comb through it,” said Borgatello.
It was a race against time and a race against tides.
The work was at the lowest tidal point this afternoon, but the clock was ticking as soon as the equipment arrived.
One boat was submerged with sand up to its steering wheel. Normally owners have about a week to get their vessels off the beach, but in this case, these boats were a risk of breaking up or leaking dangerous wastes into the ocean.
“There’s been a couple of times where the boat owners have been given extensions. One day I came down and marked it (a boat) and the next day I couldn’t find it. These tides do a lot of weird things with the sand and bury things real quick,” said Borgatello.
Recently Marborg also picked up other boats locally that crashed into the shores including one that hit the cliffs at UC Santa Barbara after breaking away from an anchorage off Goleta.
The broken boats are brought to the Marborg recycling yard in Santa Barbara.
Anything hazardous, like the battery or electronics on board that can be retrieved are handled in a separate disposal process.
Boat owners are sent a bill for the cleanup.Slideshow: Boat Hazards Removed From Santa Barbara Beaches