Six kayakers were blown a mile out to sea, and rescued by squid fishing boat crews, as 50-mile-per-hour Santa Ana winds cropped up suddenly in Malibu Sunday.
Sustained winds of 47 miles per hour, and a gust of 81 mph, were recorded in the hills above Malibu Sunday, as the six kayakers were blown south.
A large fleet of squid-fishing boats from Port Hueneme had been clustered near Point Mugu, taking advantage of ocean currents that concentrate squid there.
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At least two of the kayaks were snared by the squid fleet to prevent them from being blown further out to sea. Lifeguards then used "Jetski"-type watercraft to tow the kayaks back to shore at about 9 a.m.
The rescue was a joint operation of lifeguards from Ventura and Los Angeles counties, and California State Parks.
Paramedics examined the kayakers at Countyline Beach and pronounced them fine. Lifeguards said the people had been fishing just west of the Los Angeles-Ventura county line.
Winds had been calm in western Malibu at 7 a.m., but were blowing at up to 50 miles per hour at Leo Carrillo Beach, straight out to sea, when the rescue occurred.
In Malibu, power lines were reported down on Latigo Canyon Road, one mile uphill from Pacific Coast Highway. Traffic was getting through in the area, a deputy said, and no fire was reported.
"When the winds are blowing offshore, it's a bad time to kayak," observed LA County Lifeguards Capt. Dan Murphy. "Make sure to have a signal device, and a personal flotation device."
Earlier in the day, four paddleboarders were reported in distress to LA County lifeguards at around 11:30 a.m.
They were out in sustained 45 mph winds that stopped them from paddling back to shore, so the Malibu watch boat picked them up.
The hurricane-force, 81 mph wind gust was reported at a Mesonet weather station operated by a homeowner near Saddle Peak, at the 1,500 foot elevation. It was reported on the National Weather Service website at 10:15 a.m. That was not an official NWS reading, however.
Along the beach, palm fronds, eucalyptus branches and tumbleweeds were observed blowing across PCH at 8 a.m.