Horse rescued after swimming out to sea

May 17, 2012

Santa Barbara Harbor Patrol crews rescued a horse they discovered swimming in the ocean about 2.5 miles from shore on Tuesday shortly before sunset.

The Arabian horse named William swam out to sea after being spooked by waves during a photo shoot on Summerland Beach. He quickly disappeared from the view of those on the shore.

Later, he was spotted swimming away from land by employees of an oil rig about a mile from shore. After an almost three hour swim, the horse was  led back to land by members of the Harbor Patrol.

William, who was cold and tired, is currently recovering at the Alamo Pintado Equine Hospital in Los Olivos.

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I knew that horses spook easily but I didn’t realize that they’re actually that unintelligent as compared to say a dog or maybe even a cat. Neither would put themselves in a situation like that and both would know how to turn around and head for shore on their own.

Do they give Darwin Awards to horses? As an aside,that was the Santa Barbara Harbor Patrol which rescued the horse.

Darwin awards are handed out to those supposed hominids that improve the gene pool by exiting themselves from it …unintentionally. IOW, they don’t survive. Seems like this horse is smarter than more than a few two legged apes.


I was assistant Harbor Master on Catalina Island in the sixties for a couple of years. Great years of my life. Should have stayed there. I use to have to get up all hours of the night and answer calls from the Coast Guard to pick-up boats that had been stranded for one reason or another.

They would tow the boats just outside the bay and I would drive out and tow them in. One time I pulled a sailboat in that had been run into by a fishing boat. Sailboat had no lights. Gets pretty dark out there in the channel. Caused hole just above the water line in the bow. People were lucky to be alive.

Coast Guard saves a lot of lives that most people never hear about. God Bless the Coast Guard.

God Bless

Great job for th Coast Guard. They always seem to do a great job when called to the rescue. Thank you for your service!