DEATHS: ANACAPA ISLAND

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19th CENTURY DEATHS

  • 1890 Fred [unknown] Undine engineer, Fred, drowned.


20th CENTURY DEATHS

  • 1902 Peter Wallace drowned fishing at Anacapa when the Bell capsized. The captain lived.
  • 1904 Jack King disappeared on a fishing trip to Anacapa Island March 22.
  • 1904 Arley Peters disappeared on a fishing trip to Anacapa Island March 22.
  • 1917 Bryan Schafer (20), drowned fishing at Anacapa with Jack Carrillo aboard Marguerite in October.


  • 1923 Andrew Semich (47), drowned fishing off the purse seiner San Andrew at Anacapa in September.
  • 1925 Helmar Peterson Santa Cruz Island fisherman who died in his skiff after a storm, probably of starvation.
  • 1928 "Slim" Merlander, fisherman accidentally drowned while tending his lobster traps.
  • 1928 Hidjmar Lacander (39), fisherman working for Larcos accidentally drowned at Anacapa Island in November.
  • 1930s [name unknown] Lighthouse keeper fell from a platform and was killed.
  • 1932 Ivan Steen (45), found with his throat slit in Frenchy’s cabin on March 3. The coroner ruled it was death by suicide.


1938 CHANNEL ISLANDS NATIONAL MONUMENT

  • 1938 Bennoske Nakano fisherman aboard Progress who drowned off Anacapa Island in January.
  • 1938 Charles Johnson died of natural causes at Frenchy’s Cove around the end of September.
  • 1946 Roy Brown (42), drowned in the wreck of the 50-foot fishing boat, Nancy B [Nancy Lee]
  • 1946 John Barta (38), drowned in the wreck of the 50-foot fishing boat, Nancy B [Nancy Lee]
  • 1948 Donald Thorne (17), Coast Guard employee who fell off a cargo net being hoisted on June 5.
  • 1951 Joann Seaborn (16), drowned off Anacapa Island when her father's fishing vessel, Seaborn was in a collision September 2.
  • 1951 John K. Seaborn (14), drowned off Anacapa Island when his father's fishing vessel, Seaborn was in a collision September 2.
  • 1954 M. M. Fox, Coast Guard guy drove bulldozer off a cliff— b. September 1932
  • 1958 Willem Hartveld (41), drowned on a fishing trip when their 16-foot boat capsized September 20.
  • 1958 J. D. Scurlock (38), drowned on a fishing trip when their 16-foot boat capsized September 20.
  • 1962 Frank Crist (30), drowned while skin diving diving off Anacapa July 7.
  • 1963 Norman Brown (29), drowned while SCUBA diving off Anacapa October 2.
  • 1966 Raymond Carron (48), drowned when a cabin cruiser sank off Anacapa February 26.
  • 1970 Philip West (45), superior court judge drowned in the wreck of his sailboat Rosamond on April 11.
  • 1970 Hugh Gallagher (43), attorney drowned in the wreck of the sailboat Rosamond on April 11.
  • 1973 Robert Jenks (44), drowned while SCUBA diving at Anacapa Island on February 19.
  • 1973 Robert L. Timmons (46), C.I. National Monument employee died of a heart attack November 2.
  • 1974 Frank Dugan (34), drowned in a SCUBA accident while diving for lobsters October 2.
  • 1974 Mark Inouye (23), drowned at Cat Rock while gathering sea urchins October 2.
  • 1978 Oliver Andrews drowned while SCUBA diving at Anacapa Island on September 30.
  • 1979 Brian Klein (17), drowned while SCUBA diving at Anacapa Island on July 16.
  • 1980 Susan Trent (40), drowned while SCUBA diving off the Sea Venture at Anacapa Island April 24.


1980 CHANNEL ISLANDS NATIONAL PARK

  • 1983 George B. Butte (33), pilot killed when his plane hit the water buzzing a fishing boat on October 20.
  • 1986 Thomas Guerin (49), drowned just after finishing his SCUBA diving lessons August 9.
  • 1986 Robert Heyman (43), drowned in a SCUBA accident in a kelp bed November 15.
  • 1989 John F. Thompson (76), pilot died in his plane in an accident on West Anacapa January 5.
  • 1991 Billy Joe Halfacre (62), drowned when his boat broke apart at Anacapa in heavy seas February 17.
  • 1991 Ronald Bailey (50), drowned when Halfacre’s boat broke apart at Anacapa in heavy seas February 17.
  • 1991 Thomas Lee Moyd (33), drowned when Halfacre’s boat broke apart at Anacapa in heavy seas February 17.
  • 1991 Kent White Sayre (25), camper fell from a cliff on East Anacapa February 22.
  • 1992 Bryan Bolton (21), drowned exploring Anacapa Island sea caves with his older brother on January 5.
  • 1992 Monte Bolton (27), drowned exploring Anacapa Island sea caves with his younger brother on January 5.
  • 1993 Tabb Vadon (27), drowned while free-diving from his kayak October 31.
  • 1998 Julie Asaoke (47), drowned in a SCUBA accident, perhaps of a heart attack, in November.
  • 1999 Joo Hwan Hong (45) drowned while SCUBA diving with a dive club aboard Spectre at Anacapa Island in December.


21st CENTURY DEATHS

  • 2000 Alaska Air Flight 261 went into the Pacific Ocean near Anacapa Island, killing all 88 people aboard on January 31.
  • 2003 Nicholas Armington (40) drowned while SCUBA diving of the Spectre at Anacapa Island in October.
  • 2007 Robert Rydgig (77), NPS volunteer died of a heart attack climbing the dock ladder August 15.
  • 2009 John Gary Koenig (65), drowned while SCUBA diving off theSpectre at Anacapa Island April 10.
  • 2012 Maria Rodriguez (59), drowned while SCUBA diving off the Spectre at Anacapa Island on September 28.
  • 2013 Joe Wysocki (65), crushed by the NPS boat, Ocean Ranger, when he fell off the dock ladder on July 10.
  • 2014 Luz Thayer (47) drowned in a SCUBA diving accident on June 1.


TOTAL = 57 (21 Deaths since Anacapa Island became a National Park in 1980) not including the crash of Alaska Air Flight 261



In the News~

June 22, 1927 [LAT]: “Body found in floating box. Gruesome discovery made off Anacapa Island. Wooden casket opened by Ventura fisherman. Corpse of aged man had been nailed in chest. Ventura, June 21. — A large wooden box, containing the body of an aged man, was found this morning floating in a cove on Anacapa Island, thirty miles off the coast of Ventura, by Al Houston, captain of the fishing launch, Billie Boy, while on a fishing trip to the islands with a party of Venturans. Houston saw the box floating in the water there yesterday afternoon, and without investigating it attempted to tow it back to Ventura. It proved too unwieldy, however, and he left it. When he returned to the island this morning he broke open the box and found the body of a man inside. Houston replaced the top on the box and leaving it floating in the cove he returned to Ventura and notified the Coroner and the Sheriff's office of his find. Local authorities are mystified over the find inasmuch as they do not believe the body was buried at sea by any ship. It is the opinion that when bodies are buried at sea, they are sewed up in canvas instead of being placed in a box. The Coroner plans to go after the box and conduct an investigation.”


June 23, 1927 [Reno Gazette-Journal]: “Body is Afloat in Casket Found by Fisherman at Sea. Ventura, Cal., June 23.—Lying at an undertaking parlor in this city is the body of an unknown man, found floating off Anacapa islands in an oak casket encased in a regulation burial box. The remains are those of a man about sixty-five, well-preserved, as the body evidently was embalmed by an undertaker. The box was sighted floating in the channel by a steamer early in May, but search for it at that time by shore boats was futile. It was seen again late Monday and brought ashore late yesterday by local fishermen. All that the authorities have in the way of a clue is a necktie worn by the dead man on which is the label "Lyons, France," and a tag in the coat that has the name of New York clothiers.”