Malibu billionaire deploys $25 million yacht to carry supplies to victims of California wildfires after his own winery was destroyed

Howard Leight spent Friday night trying to save his vineyard and his two homes, and after the threat had passed he wanted to see how he could help other distressed victims.


                            Malibu billionaire deploys $25 million yacht to carry supplies to victims of California wildfires after his own winery was destroyed

Howard Leight, a billionaire who co-owns the Malibu Rocky Oaks winery, has joined hands with surfers to help deliver supplies from his 142-foot yacht to the victims of the deadly wildfires in California. On Monday, Leight reached out to his friend Bill Kerbox and devised a plan to use his $25million yacht to bring supplies into areas destroyed by the Woolsey Fire.



 

Using the hashtag #malibuhope, the duo put a call out on social media urging anyone in the region to team up with them in their mission. What's more? A group of volunteers responded promptly and loaded up the Leight Star with around 100 gallons of gasoline, snacks, dog food, beer, around 3,000 water bottles along with other necessities before they set off to their destination at Paradise Cove.


 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Bill Kerbox (@kerboxmedia) on


 

But law enforcement authorities stopped the volunteers as they approached the cove and disallowed them from ferrying the goods to shore on their own. Fortunately, there were a number of surfers and paddleboarders at the scene who gladly volunteered to jump into the water in order to transport the supplies to their final destination, Daily Mail reports.

According to the LA Times, much of Leight's vineyard situated in the Santa Monica Mountains was destroyed by the raging flames. The billionaire had sold his hearing protection company, Howard Leight Industries, for $120 million in 2003 before he opened the winery. Leight spent Friday night trying to save the Malibu Rocky Oaks Estate Vineyard, which consists of 10 planted acres sitting on a 37-acre plot, along with two of his homes. He wanted to see what he could do for others after the threat had passed his own properties.



 

As the Woolsey Fire rages on, multiple communities in the area north of Los Angeles are still under evacuation orders. Due to the several roads closed off either by law enforcement or by flames, residents have had to be resourceful in the manner they transport supplies to affected communities.

According to the Los Angeles Times, before commencing their journey on Tuesday, Kerbox told volunteers: "There’s been so much confusion. We need to get out on social media that supplies are going to start be unloaded in a little over an hour." When the yacht was stopped at the cove's entrance, the LA County Sheriff's deputy at the scene told the group: "If we’re not letting people in by land, we’re not letting them in by sea."


 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Bill Kerbox (@kerboxmedia) on


 

But thanks to the brave swimmers and surfers present, they took on the final leg of the humanitarian mission. That said, the civilian efforts were quickly recognized by Malibu residents, who immediately began sharing photos on social media, inspiring more volunteers to join in.

 


 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Bill Kerbox (@kerboxmedia) on


 

 

In a conversation with Fox News, Cal Fire Chief Ken Pimlott said there's "no end in sight" for the dry weather which has quite literally turned the state into a tinderbox. By Wednesday morning, the Woolsey Fire was only 50 percent contained. Ventura County Fire Chief Mark Lorenzen said: "We are not out of the woods yet. We still have incredibly tough conditions ahead of us."