It’s a quintessential Southern California rescue effort involving a yacht, a billionaire and surfers.
Howard Leight, a winery owner, has lent his yacht to volunteers who are delivering donated supplies to victims of the Woolsey fire.
Last Tuesday morning, several people loaded the 150-foot Leight Star with water bottles, snacks, dog food, gas and other necessities before making their way to Paradise Cove.
Smaller boats were tied behind the yacht to help offload supplies. When the Leight Star neared the Paradise Cove coast, surfers swam towards the boat to help deliver the supplies.
Leight is an entrepreneur who owns the Malibu Rocky Oaks winery that sits in the Santa Monica Mountains. The Woolsey fire has destroyed much of his vineyard. Two Fridays ago, he spent the night trying to save it and two of his homes. When he was done, he felt it was time to give back.
“There’s been so much confusion,” said Bill Kerbox, a friend of Leight’s, to the group of volunteers as they began their journey. The group is using the hashtag #malibuhope to notify people of their efforts.
“We need to get out on social media that supplies are going to start to be unloaded in a little over an hour at Paradise Cove.”
When the yacht arrived at Paradise Cove, authorities on a sheriff’s boat warned the volunteers not to go on shore.
“If we’re not letting people in by land, we’re not letting them in by sea,” the deputy told the frustrated boaters.
Surfers lingered nearby and, before long, started loading supplies onto their boards.
Several others used smaller boats to get around road closures and hazards and transport donations to Malibu communities in need. – Tribune News Service/Los Angeles Times/Benjamin Oreskes