Jeff Farrell Survives Near-Death Experience as Mudslide Hits His House

by Spencer Penland 10

January 18th, 2018 Lifestyle, Masters, News

Just weeks after having to evacuate his Montecito, CA home due to the wildfires, Olympic Gold Medalist Jeff Farrell found himself stuck in his house during a mudslide that claimed the lives of at least 17 people in the area.

This video was taken by Jeff’s son, Marco, and shows a flood followed by a huge rush of mud, at which point he runs into the house to alert the rest of his family. According to Marco, they waited in the house while it was a few feet underwater for over an hour before they were able to escape.

Jeff Farrell, for those who may not know, has one of the great Olympic success stories. In 1960, Farrell qualified for the Olympic team just 6 days after having an emergency apendectomy, and subsequently won 2 gold medals at the Olympics. He went on to break over 20 world and American records in the year following his surgery.

About a month ago, Farrell broke another world record, this time in 50 free for the 80-84 Masters age group (he’s broken several masters world records). Today, he lives in Montecito, CA and sells real estate in the Santa Barbara area.

A gofundme page has been set up to help the Farrell family repair their destroyed home. The link can be found here. Alternatively, you can send a check to Jeff’s temporary address: 232 W. Arrellaga Street, Santa Barbara CA 93101.


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3 years ago

I understand that these events are terrible but do they not have homeowners insurance?? You might as well just give them a wad of cash for a new car.

Steve Clark
Reply to  Swimmmer
3 years ago

Not sure homeowners insurance will cover this, or if so, what is covered and what is not, e.g. deductible, incidental expenses etc. Insurance companies differ and can be hardnosed and late with payments, even if there is partial coverage. Seems like a good cause to me.

crooked donald
Reply to  Swimmmer
3 years ago

“Acts of God” not covered under homeowner’s policies. Doubt a mudslide would even be covered under supplemental flood insurance.

Reply to  Swimmmer
3 years ago

Homeowners policy doesn’t cover flood. It’s a separate policy same as earthquake. People who can afford to live in Montecito shouldn’t need a gofundme….just my opninion.

Reply to  Taa
3 years ago

Not all the people in that area are wealthy. The majority… yes, but in this particular area that was hit… no.

Reply to  Swimmmer
3 years ago

Fair points. hadn’t considered the “act of god” not being covered.

Sorry. Just tired of seeing gofundme pages for things any reasonable person should have insurance for.

Old sprinter
Reply to  swimmmer
3 years ago

Jeff is a friend. If he needs help he can count on me. No questions asked.

Sum Ting Wong
3 years ago

Under the mud , one day a whole town with lusty murals , beautifully tiled pelazzios & plazas , tasty pizzas , will be uncovered . Montecito is the new Pompeii .

ACC fan
3 years ago


3 years ago

According to a local real estate attorney, because the flood followed on the heels of the fire, it will be covered in virtually all insurance policies. Because of complete infrastructure failure, rising from the ashes and mud in my opinion could take 3-4 years. Coast Village Road is out of business.