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Officals urge kayakers to check weather before entering the water

Before hopping into a kayak or paddle board officials are stressing that people pay attention to the weather. In just a matter of minutes a kayak can get swept by a current.

“I say the main thing for someone renting a kayak is to really keep an eye out for the weather,” said Devn Hunt, a kayak expert at SEA Landing and diving in Santa Barbara. “Nine times out of ten that is usually what happens. They get caught in wind or current and will get swept off the coast or off shore.”

Santa Barbara County Fire has recently responded to a string of water rescues.

“Just yesterday we had two kayak rescues and while we were out at the beach we had to assist two paddle boarders as well,” said Captain Dave Zaniboni, Santa Barbara County Fire Public Information Officer.

On Sunday two kayakers were rescued from the waters near Isla Vista after high winds pushed them out over a mile into the water. High winds are expected to stay all week long with the strongest gust occurring in the late afternoon.

“Unless you are a very experienced you really shouldn’t be out in that ocean. You have to show it some respect,” said Zaniboni.

Coast Guard regulations require a personal floating device on kayaks and paddle boards. County fire also recommends to not enter the water alone and to remember communication is key when emergency takes place

“Without some kind of communication device or a whistle at least its really hard to get in contact unless someone visiable sees you out there,” said Hunt. “Stay within rang of a radio or a cell phone that is water proof. Stay noticeable. You want to be seen if you are out there.”

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