Despite the best efforts of volunteers, the fishing boat that ran aground in Montecito was a total loss


MONTECITO, Calif. — When members of the Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade heard that a fishing boat had run aground on Butterfly Beach in Montecito, they headed for help.

Marco Farrell shared a Facebook post that read, “All on deck!!! Help get a boat out of Butterly Beach today in one piece.”

Rose and Kacey Brown and their children appreciate the help.

“We’re trying to get it off the beach, not just to protect the beach, but it’s our livelihood,” Rose Brown said. “I mean, that’s it for us, so we’re really hoping we can make it work.”

Brown said her husband harvests sea cucumbers. It’s considered a delicacy in Chinese cuisine.

He comes from a long line of sea urchin fishermen and hopes to follow his example.

But first they hoped to save their boat named “Surfish”.

It appeared that the anchor line had snapped during the storm. Santa Barbara Harbor Patrol informed them of the boat’s situation early in the morning.

Volunteers and family friends prevented strangers from recovering items before the Browns arrived.

They got out shovels, plywood, pumps and planned to wait for the highest tide at sunrise.

While holding her youngest son, Boden, Rose Brown asked people to bring night lights.

At sunset they had lights on the boat and the beach.

With the help of volunteers, there was a chance they could put it back in the water.

Farrell, who rescued his parents during the Montecito landslide in January 2018, said they “survived the first big storm of the year”.

But Farrell admitted he wasn’t sleeping.

“We are constantly monitoring the weather and making sure we are doing what we need to prepare or deviate,”

He said it’s wise to be careful and play it safe.

“We’re hoping it won’t rain a lot at once,” Farrell said.

The members of the Bucket Brigade are there for each other and they have been working to help the Browns throughout the night.

They hoped to tow the boat to the port of Santa Barbara to inspect, damage and make repairs.

Sadly, Thursday morning Brown declared the boat a total loss.

“We are heartbroken,” she told reporter Tracy Lehr. “The cracked hull continually takes on too much water and sand to make it float.”

Brown said she was very grateful for the local support as an “amazing group of friends and strangers” worked through the night to try to save the boat. She says the focus is now on cleaning.

Family friend Scott Thompson created a GoFundMe page to raise $10,000 to help the family.

“Any help is just above and beyond anything I could express my thanks for,” Brown said.

To donate to help the Brown family in their recovery, Click here.


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