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Two Santa Barbara Harbor Patrol officers honored for heroics during rare microburst

Santa Barbara honored two Harbor Patrol officers for their heroism during a rare weather event last year.

On September 3, 2017, a microburst brought torrential rain, 80 mph winds, turbulent waters and wreaked havoc on the shore and on the sea.

Officers Karl Halamicek and Nathan Alldredge were on duty that day.

“In just a matter of moments, everything, I’ll be honest, everything turned white,” said Halamicek.

“It was complete whiteout conditions, debris flying through the air. A kayak flew by us and barbecues everywhere. It was survival mode at first,” said Alldredge who has only been on the job for a year.

People in the water were thrown from boats, paddle boards, kayaks and other vessels.

The microburst only lasted for three minutes. But when it was over, both officers, on separate boats, went into rescue mode.

“I started prioritizing who I could pull out, putting them on the boats and putting them on the docks,” Alldredge said.

In all, the officers plucked 16 people from the water, including several children.

Nearly a year later, Halamicek and Alldredge were given an award in recognition of their valor by Mayor Cathy Murillo, as their families looked on proudly.

The award reads : “The National Association of State Boating Law Administrators, California
Region, has bestowed upon officers Halamicek and Alldredge, their Boating Law Enforcement
Officer of the Year Award for Outstanding Public Service, Unmatched Professionalism in Marine
Law Enforcement, and Personal Commitment to Ensuring Safe and Enjoyable Recreational Boating.”

Both men said that day was one they will never forget, but this type of disaster is exactly what they’re trained to handle.

They also said the honor is a recognition for the entire Harbor Patrol department and all of the men and women on patrol doing their jobs with valor every day.

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