California men rescued aboard homemade boat crafted from buckets, kiddie pools

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — Firefighters rescued two pioneering seafarers Saturday morning aboard their homemade boat constructed from buckets, kiddie pools and plywood.

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Santa Barbara Fire Department said the men used 20 Home Depot buckets, two plastic children’s pools, plywood and duct tape to craft the vessel, Noozhawk reported.

Rescuers said the pair launched from Camino Del Sur. They had a paddle but no wetsuits for the voyage where the water temperature was about 55 degrees.

As the tide continued to pull them from shore, someone on the beach called rescuers. The boat had traveled about 300 yards from the coast. Two water rescue units, three fire engines, a fire truck and a battalion chief responded to the scene around 2 a.m., KEYT reported.

Rescuers brought the men safely ashore about 30 minutes later. They were not injured. Investigators said alcohol was not a factor.

“The two young mariners who fashioned their own water craft were very fortunate that someone saw them, that they were out at sea, and notified authorities, as they were unable to make their way back to shore in their boat made of made of plastic buckets and kiddie pools,” Mike Eliason, fire department spokesperson, told Noozhawk.

The identities of the men who were rescued has not been released. However, Twitter user Connor Johnson commented on the fire department rescue indicating he was one of the men rescued. He said they were seated in the pools and the buckets were capped and filled with ballast helping them float.

“Engineering students wish they could build a boat as good as ours,” Johnson said. “Thank you (Santa Barbara) emergency response personnel for your assistance! For the record however, we were not struggling, the boat was sound.”

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