Local Coast Guard crew honored for mudslide rescues

SAN DIEGO -- City officials Tuesday honored a San Diego-based Coast Guard crew that rescued 20 people and pets trapped on rooftops in Carpinteria following last month's devastating mudslides in Santa Barbara County.

The Coast Guard Sector San Diego Jawhawk Helicopter crew was one of the first groups to respond on Jan. 10 to the mudslides, which followed a major rainstorm and came after the region's landscape was ravaged by the Thomas Fire, the largest in California history.

"Your heroic actions keep our city, our region, our state and our great nation protected and safe," Mayor Kevin Faulconer said. "Keep up the great work."

The crew consists of pilots Lt. Cmdr. Wayne O'Donnell and Lt. Treston Taylor, rescue swimmers Erin Custer and William Arrison, flight mechanic Jacob Dillon, and Cmdr. Robert Potter, who oversaw rescue operations.