GAVIOTA, Calif. - A water rescue drill off Gaviota came with a scenario of a swimmer in trouble near the pier took place earlier today, but the conditions were as challenging as a real life incident.
The waves were choppy, the wind was blustery and the coordination was precision.
Multiple scenarios were used the the drill and different techniques.
Santa Barbara County has an Air Support Unit with five choppers. Three can be used for search and rescue and water rescue operations. This is a joint effort with the Sheriff's and Fire Departments based out of the Santa Ynez airport.
The water rescue team has radio's in each helmet and they are in contact with each other, not only in the ocean and aircraft, but also with the commanders on shore.
Personnel in water crafts were also nearby and in line with every moment of the rescue drill.
The water rescue team recently had a call out when a boat was free from its anchor off Goleta pier prior to a wave of storms. They helped the owner secure the vessel which also has no working engine.
This afternoon following the drill, some surfers were in a cover near UCSB and water rescue team members were called but the situation was under control quickly.