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 today.
And Red Flag Warnings were scheduled to go back up in the mountain and pass areas of Los Angeles and Orange counties strating this evening, stretching into Wednesday.
Sustained winds of 47 miles per hour, and a gust of 81 mph, were recorded in the hills above Malibu today, as the six kayakers were blown south.
A large fleet of squid-fishing boats from Port Hueneme has been clustered near Point Mugu, taking advantage of ocean currents that concentrate squid there.
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.
The rescue was a joint operation of lifeguards from Vednturas 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 at about 9 a.m.
By 11 a.m., winds of 34 mph were observed near Decker Canyon, with gusts out of the northeast of 59 mph.
“When the winds are blowing offshore, it’s a bad time to kayak,” observed L.A. County Lifeguards Capt. Dan Murphy. “Make sure to have a signal device, and a personal flotation device.”
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.
“Malibu is getting hit right now,” he said, in a hurry.
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.
Wind advisories for this bout of Santa Anas were expiring in all of the varied climate zones of L.A. and Orange counties during the day. But a fresh round of Red Flag Warnings were slated to go back up in the Hollywood Hills, Malibu area, Santa Clarita and Antelope valleys, and inland mountains of both counties tonight.
The valley floors, coastal plain and most of the urban areas were only getting a high wind warning.
The winds, dry air and warm weather was expected to last through Wednesday, the NWS said.