Xantu (#) (-) Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary's 29-foot Wilson used as a patrol vessel, occasionally made available for day trips and education and research activities. It was eventually sold for $18,000.
- Log of the Xantu 1999-2001
- [original in SCIF archives]
In the News~
January 15, 1991 [LAT]: “It's crushing, it's devastating, it's ridiculous." Jack Fitzgerald, chief ranger for Channel Islands National Park on budget cuts that have left him without the patrol boat Xantu. As Chief Ranger Jack Fitzgerald sees it, his mission includes halting poachers from illegally prying abalone off coastal rocks in Channel Islands National Park. His rangers keep modern-day pirates from plundering the shipwrecks that litter the ocean floor. The rangers direct boats out of fragile ecological areas around the islands, administer first aid to divers, fishermen and sailors and make sure boaters follow the law. Yet Fitzgerald recently gave up the national park's main law enforcement weapon in coastal waters: the biggest boat, which fell victim to budget cuts. For the last dozen years, a separate federal agency has underwritten the cost of operating the 32-foot Xantu and its three-member crew. But that agency, The Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, decided to end its law enforcement role in the National Park, also facing a budget squeeze, decided it could not afford the extra $150,000 a year needed to keep the Xantu patrolling the islands. It's crushing, it's devastating, it's ridiculous." Jack Fitzgerald said of the loss. "This boat has been involved in many rescues and saving a lot of lives and property," he said. "I imagine that some people's lives might be lost. There will definitely be an impact on the fisheries. Some people will feel freer to break the law, knowing that there is less probability of getting caught." Until the money ran out Oct. 1, the Xantu and its crew took off from the Ventura Harbor five or six days a week to patrol the five-island national park. Monthly reports to the marine sanctuary manager detailed its activities; confiscating lobster traps from protected areas, checking fishing licenses and searching boats for illegal catches. Its crew, all trained emergency medical technicians, routinely rescued divers from accidents, plucked shipwrecked boaters from the water or rocky coastline and handed them over to the Coast Guard. The Xantu was one of the first boats on the scene of a mishap because it was patrolling nearby. "Wherever you can get the help to the mariner, that's what you are looking for," said Petty Officer James Bride of the US Coast Guard's marine safety office in Long Beach... With the loss of federal funding, the Xantu has been transferred to the state Department of Fish and Game, the boat's legal owner...”