Wednesday, December 7 , 2016, 7:14 pm | A Few Clouds 53º


Local News

Search and Rescue Team Trains for Swift-Water Rescues

Members of the all-volunteer unit take advantage of recent rains to hone their skills

The Santa Barbara County Search and Rescue Team spent Sunday honing their swift-water rescue skills on the Santa Ynez River.

With the recent heavy rains, the river and creeks in the local mountains and passes are running well above normal, which presented the team a great training opportunity.

“We usually don’t get a lot of water here, so our practice time is limited, and when we do have water, we want to take every advantage to use it,” swift-water instructor Steve McNeil said.

Wearing full swift-water response gear, dry suits, personal flotation devices, helmets and gloves, the team practiced rescue swimming, shallow water crossing, throw bags and navigating the rapids.

The SAR team’s regularly scheduled training and certification is held in the late summer on the Kern River, where team members spend a full day in the classroom and two full days in the water.

The SAR team currently has 19 swift-water rescuers.

Santa Barbara County Search and Rescue is the all-volunteer mountain rescue unit of the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.

— Drew Sugars is a public information officer for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.

Reader Comments

Noozhawk's intent is not to limit the discussion of our stories but to elevate it. Comments should be relevant and must be free of profanity and abusive language and attacks.

By posting on Noozhawk, you:

» Agree to be respectful. Noozhawk encourages intelligent and impassioned discussion and debate, but now has a zero-tolerance policy for those who cannot express their opinions in a civil manner.

» Agree not to use Noozhawk’s forums for personal attacks. This includes any sort of personal attack — including, but not limited to, the people in our stories, the journalists who create these stories, fellow readers who comment on our stories, or anyone else in our community.

» Agree not to post on Noozhawk any comments that can be construed as libelous, defamatory, obscene, profane, vulgar, harmful, threatening, tortious, harassing, abusive, hateful, sexist, racially or ethnically objectionable, or that are invasive of another’s privacy.

» Agree not to post in a manner than emulates, purports or pretends to be someone else. Under no circumstances are readers posting to Noozhawk to knowingly use the name or identity of another person, whether that is another reader on this site, a public figure, celebrity, elected official or fictitious character. This also means readers will not knowingly give out any personal information of other members of these forums.

» Agree not to solicit others. You agree you will not use Noozhawk’s forums to solicit and/or advertise for personal blogs and websites, without Noozhawk’s express written approval.

Noozhawk’s management and editors, in our sole discretion, retain the right to remove individual posts or to revoke the access privileges of anyone who we believe has violated any of these terms or any other term of this agreement; however, we are under no obligation to do so.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >