LOS ANGELES — The Coast Guard has ended the search for a missing kayaker near Santa Claus Beach Tuesday.
At 12:30 a.m., Tuesday, the Coast Guard ended the search for Phillip Wood, 55, after a Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Department search-and-rescue team located Wood on the beach at Loon Point. Wood was separated from his kayak and swam to shore. He was treated for mild hypothermia and taken to his house to meet his wife where he was reported to be in good condition.
LeAnne Wood contacted watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles Operations Center in Long Beach around 8:30 p.m., Monday, reporting that her husband had not returned from a kayak trip. Wood left from Santa Claus Beach in his blue single-man kayak at approximately 4 p.m., and was scheduled to return within an hour or two.
The Coast Guard immediately launched a 45-foot Response Boat — Medium boatcrew from Coast Guard Station Channel Islands and an MH-65D helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Los Angeles along with a Montecito Fire Department swift-water rescue crew and a helicopter from Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department to assist in the search. The Coast Guard Cutter Blacktip, an 87-foot Coastal Patrol Boat homeported in Channel Islands, also assisted in the search for Wood.
The Coast Guard reminds boaters to:
Always wear a life jacket. Since there is little time to reach for stowed vests when accidents occur, wearing one at all times reduces your risk of drowning. Federal law requires you to have a personal floatation device on board for each passenger.
File a float plan. A float plan is simply letting family and friends know where you are going and your expected time of return. File a float plan with someone who is not getting underway with you and stick to the plan. If you change plans, contact the person. A float plan assists responders in the search of an overdue boater who may be in distress.
Have a signaling device to communicate distress on the water. Boaters should have a marine-band radio, signal flares and an emergency position-indicating radio beacon to alert first responders. Boaters can reach the Coast Guard on marine-band radios on VHF channel 16 24/7, and an EPIRB provides search-and-rescue coordinators with vital information such as phone numbers and the description and type of vessel, which allows the Coast Guard to respond much quicker.