The wildfires in Southern California have destroyed thousands of homes and acres. The Woolsey Fire in particular has decimated the Malibu coast. One local resident who fought flames at his own property leaped into action to help fellow citizens, with his megayacht. He turned his Leight Star into an aid-delivery service, enlisting a boating—and surfing—brigade of volunteers along the way.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Howard Leight, whose businesses include the Malibu Rocky Oaks winery, contacted a friend the night of November 19 to coordinate the mission. Leight had spent much of the weekend trying to keep the Woolsey Fire from destroying his vineyards and homes. The houses survived, but much of the vineyard did not. Regardless, Leight decided he needed to help others. The way to do so, he determined, was via the 143-foot (43.6-meter) Leight Star. Bill Kerbox, his friend, tells the newspaper that Leight wanted assistance in finding supplies as well as volunteers to deliver them.
The Los Angeles Times was aboard Leight Star during the aid coordination and delivery, documenting events along the way, including the video above. They include Kerbox standing in the saloon, explaining how to get the word out via social media.
The outreach worked. Anchored off Malibu’s Paradise Cove, Leight Star had an estimated 3,000 bottles of water, 100 gallons of fuel, along with bicycles, diapers, shovels, pet food, and more. Dinghies, slightly larger boats, as well as surfboards all pressed into use to take the supplies to shore. They did so under the watchful eyes of a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department craft. Malibu was (and remains) under a mandatory evacuation. “If we’re not letting people in by land, we’re not letting them in by sea,” a sheriff’s deputy tells the Los Angeles Times.
The aid delivery succeeded, as Leight Star emptied her saloon and other rooms of supplies.
Home ported in Marina del Rey, Leight Star charters in Southern California.