DEATHS: SANTA CATALINA ISLAND

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NOTE: This list does not include those who died on the island in the 20th-21st centuries of natural causes in the City of Avalon (est. 1913).


19th CENTURY DEATHS

  • 1856 Samuel Prentice died on the island and was buried at Johnson’s Landing (Emerald Bay.)
  • 1877 Eduard W. Tittman, brother of Otto H. Tittman, U. S. Coast Survey, died of tuberculosis.
  • 1883 Ah Lie died in a fire caused by an opium pipe.
  • 1888 A. Lund drowned at Santa Catalina Island, along with his brother and four friends, when their boat capsized on July 23.
  • 1889 Laura E. Pock (17) accidentally shot to death by Conrad S. Miller at his Avalon shooting range. His gun accidentally discharged killing the girl in a nearby tent on June 10.
  • 1890 William O’Neill, sailor from San Francisco drowned at the Isthmus in the wreck of the tug Alert.
  • 1891 James Downey (39), killed in a quarry landslide in May. [Loud Diary]


20th CENTURY DEATHS

  • 1901 Mrs. C. Chester, died from a fall during a hike while on morphine August 2.
  • 1902 S. F. Knight was swept from the deck of the Warrior and was drowned in May.
  • 1902 Percy F. Miel a.k.a. P. L. Turner died by seizure falling out of a rowboat at Avalon June 29.
  • 1902 William A. Yeager, gambler and card shark who was shot and killed at the Hotel Metropole August 13.
  • 1902 W. H. Palmer of Houston, TX died suddenly on August 30 at the Hotel Metropole.
  • 1902 George Seligson (21), committed suicide by jumping into the bay from the end of the wharf October 3.
  • 1908 B. F. Pollard (23), was found drowned at Avalon Bay about 50 feet from shore lying in eight feet of water on June 30.
  • 1908 F. B. Giles (18), was found drowned in five feet of water on Aug. 17.
  • 1914 James H. Whitley, his body later identified, washed ashore at Descanso Bay November 13.
  • 1917 Henry L. Bauer (69), either drowned or committed suicide. Clothing was left at Pebbly Beach on June 26.

1920s

  • 1921 3 killed in a Curtiss Flying Boat, USN, that crashed into headland south of Avalon.
  • 1921 [unnamed] killed in a Curtiss Flying Boat, USN, that crashed into headland south of Avalon.
  • 1921 [unnamed] killed in a Curtiss Flying Boat, USN, that crashed into headland south of Avalon.
  • 1923 Earl B. Brix was killed in a Curtiss F-5L seaplane on January 19.
  • 1925 Edward Swanson (25), was killed at the rock quarry by a falling rock on December 4.
  • 1926 E. L. Roberts (50), was killed by a falling rock at the Black Jack Mine on February 11.
  • 1926 C. G. Davis was killed while filming off the Isthmus by a premature explosion of a cannon June 27.
  • 1926 Mrs. E. B. Tyler was killed when Hugh G. Chaffe’s new 45-foot cruiser Una C exploded on July 4.
  • 1926 Doris Riggins (2), was killed when Hugh G. Chaffe’s new 45-foot cruiser Una C exploded on July 4.
  • 1926 Harley Miller (10), drowned while attending summer camp at Catalina Harbor on July 6.
  • 1926 David A. Finn disappeared from Hotel Hermosa and was believed to have drowned on Sept. 20.
  • 1926 James McKinley died of starvation in an open yawl in December. His partner made it to Santa Catalina Island.
  • 1927 Charles M. Collins (45), engineer killed when he fell down an elevator shaft at a local hotel on July 4.
  • 1927 Unidentified body Murder. found shot to death near Seal Rocks in Dec.; murder was several months earlier.
  • 1929 Charles R. German (45) was killed in a fall from staging during construction of the Casino.

1930s

  • 1930 Humphrey Williams (50), threw himself in front of a ten-ton truck on the Pebbly Beach Road June 28.
  • 1931 January 14.
  • 1931 Cresenciano Saldaña was beaten up and pushed down Monkeytown Hill on January 20. He broke his neck on the way down.
  • 1931 Edwin W. Rogers (19), accidentally shot himself while goat hunting at the Isthmus on October 18.
  • 1932 Walter Conrad (17), was accidentally killed by the discharge of a shotgun at Middle Ranch on July 11.
  • 1933 George R. Baker, Catalina Airline amphibian plane co-pilot, was killed taking off on Nov. 2.
  • 1934 E. R. McCormick (43), of Avalon, was killed by a landslide at the Rohl-Connolly Quarry on July 23.
  • 1934 Robert Vaughn Murder. was murdered in an altercation on a yacht at Catalina in September.
  • 1934 Herman Bermudez (34), of Avalon, was killed in a Catalina Quarry explosion on November 12.
  • 1934 Manuel Flores (20), of Avalon, was killed in a Catalina Quarry explosion on November 12.
  • 1934 Angel Hernandez (28), of Avalon, was killed in a Catalina Quarry explosion on November 12.
  • 1934 Tom Halborson (51), was killed in a Catalina Quarry explosion on November 12.
  • 1934 Kenneth E. Smith (22), was killed in a Catalina Quarry explosion on November 12.
  • 1934 Russell Landers (49), was killed in a Catalina Quarry explosion on November 12.
  • 1934 Marion Hall (22), was killed in a Catalina Quarry explosion on November 12.
  • 1934 Pete Hansen (56), was killed in a Catalina Quarry explosion on November 12.
  • 1935 Homer Harrington (46), was killed at the Catalina Island rock pit by a landslide on January 17.
  • 1935 Elmer Bergland (30), was killed in a rock slide at the Catalina Island Quarry one morning last week (Sept.)
  • 1936 Walter F. Jensen (44), fell overboard while fishing and drowned on August 29.
  • 1936 William Popham (22), killed himself by leaping off the balcony of the Casino on September 9.
  • 1939 R. H. Morrison (43), was killed in Avalon in a gas water heater explosion on May 13.
  • 1939 Jack Griffith (19) was drowned off a fishing boat three miles off the island on Sept. 3.

1940s

  • 1940s [fatality] Murder.
  • 1944 Kenneth G. Calmer (23), Coast Guard Yeoman at Avalon, drowned in the San Simeon wreck on October 15.
  • 1944 Thomas H. Ralston, killed when Goodyear Blimp USN K-111 crashed into the hills above Avalon October 17.
  • 1944 Thomas R. Smith killed when Goodyear Blimp USN K-111 crashed into the hills above Avalon October 17.
  • 1944 Wallis H. Marriage killed when Goodyear Blimp USN K-111 crashed into the hills above Avalon October 17.
  • 1944 Edward T. Gorski killed when Goodyear Blimp USN K-111 crashed into the hills above Avalon October 17.
  • 1944 Gordon F. Kaiser killed when Goodyear Blimp USN K-111 crashed into the hills above Avalon October 17.
  • 1944 Preston L. Girard killed when Goodyear Blimp USN K-111 crashed into the hills above Avalon October 17.
  • 1944-5 [Pilot] drowned in kelp beds when he bailed from his Vought F4U USN.
  • 1946 Robert Mitchell Ross (11), drowned diving for coins. He is said to have swallowed one, on July 25.
  • 1946 Skippy MacRae (11), dove off the Pleasure Pier and suffered a fatal head injury.


1950s

  • 1950 Robert Johnson (24), drowned abalone diving at Santa Catalina Island on November 1.
  • 1950 Edward Abrahamson (24), accidentally shot himself in the chest aboard his boat at Santa Catalina Island on December 3.
  • 1951 TBM crewman killed in the crash of a Grumman TBM-3E into Catalina Island on August 28, 1951.
  • 1951 TBM crewman killed in the crash of a Grumman TBM-3E into Catalina Island on August 28, 1951.
  • 1951 TBM crewman killed in the crash of a Grumman TBM-3E into Catalina Island on August 28, 1951.
  • 1951 TBM crewman killed in the crash of a Grumman TBM-3E into Catalina Island on August 28, 1951.
  • 1954 Louis LaRicca (28), drowned when his boat sank on October 21.
  • 1957 Helen Frew killed in a jeep accident on Catalina Island on December 25, 1957.
  • 1958 Terence Frenzel (13), was accidentally shot by Jimmy Price on Feb. 25.
  • 1958 Henry Alto Hill (27), drowned while SCUBA diving at Emerald Bay on April 13.
  • 1958 Jeanne Turner (45), drowned when their outboard boat capsized on April 13.
  • 1958 Vincent Mazor (45), drowned when their outboard boat capsized on April 13.
  • 1958 Dean Connery (22), drowned while SCUBA diving off the island July 20.
  • 1958 Edgar Hinton (39), one of three killed in a plane crash October 12.
  • 1959 Eddie Glen Gamble (54), died of a heart attack after catching the jackpot yellowtail on July 23.

1960s

  • 1960 Howard H. Holden (34), was killed in a plane crash May 7.
  • 1960 Robert T. Woyaich was killed in a plane crash May 7.
  • 1962 Peter Small (35), drowned in an accident of the submersible, Atlantis I, on Dec. 3.
  • 1963 Gary Weber (19), drowned while diving off White's Landing December 1.
  • 1964 David Schoen (28), drowned on a fishing trip with Andrew Phillips in May.
  • 1965 Joe M. Gonzales (54), was killed in a fall at the quarry on January 29.
  • 1965 Bjorn Thornes (27), drowned while SCUBA diving near Big Fishermans Cove on September 19.
  • 1965 Robert Heard (34), drowned while swimming on October 23.
  • 1965 Mrs. Antonie Hall (29), drowned off the island on a scuba-diving trip on October 9.
  • 1966 Harry K. Orbach (41), missing and presumed drowned from his boat at Avalon Harbor during the storm of January 16.
  • 1966 [fatality] killed in a Cessna 150A plane crash [N7160X] August 9.
  • 1967 [fatality] killed in a Piper PA-24 plane crash on May 27.
  • 1967 Maxine Starkey (46), drowned in kelp while SCUBA diving on May 28.
  • 1967 Sally Phillippi (27), pilot’s wife killed in their Piper PA-24 on September 12.
  • 1967 Gilbert Renbarger (60), Pilot’s father-in-law killed in the airplane accident on September 12.
  • 1967 Arlene Renbarger (57), Pilot’s mother-in-law killed in the airplane accident on September 12.
  • 1967 Ron Wilhite (35), drowned in a SCUBA diving accident on September 23.
  • 1968 Kevin Earley (41), drowned in a diving accident off Ship Rock on May 4.
  • 1968 William Badger (32), drowned in a diving accident off Ship Rock on May 4.
  • 1968 [fatality] killed in a Grumman G-21A [N325] plane crash September 29.
  • 1968 Robert Fry (52), drowned in a diving accident at the Isthmus on Oct. 2.
  • 1969 [fatality] killed when a McDonnell Douglas F-4B USN hit a ridge on January 10.
  • 1969 [fatality] killed when a McDonnell Douglas F-4B USN hit a ridge on January 10.
  • 1969 Billie W. Ray (28), one of 5 fatalities when their Grumman E-1B USN hit Silver Peak on February 18.
  • 1969 Melvin D. Brewer (28), one of 5 fatalities when their Grumman E-1B USN hit Silver Peak on February 18.
  • 1969 Francis Horahan (25), one of 5 fatalities when their Grumman E-1B USN hit Silver Peak on February 18.
  • 1969 Edward Karaldsen (27), one of 5 fatalities when their Grumman E-1B USN hit Silver Peak on February 18.
  • 1969 Larry W. Garrison (25), one of 5 fatalities when their Grumman E-1B USN hit Silver Peak on February 18.
  • 1969 Jesse L. Jones (41), drowned while SCUBA diving at Hamilton Beach on August 17.

1970s

  • 1970 Robert Hill (38), killed in their boat when a Grumman Goose hit them while landing.
  • 1970 Clarence Nurmi (45), killed in their boat when a Grumman Goose hit them while landing.
  • 1970 Edward Haaker (43), drowned while SCUBA diving near the Isthmus on September 6.
  • 1970 Matthew Evantov (10), drowned while skindiving by his father's boat in September.
  • 1970 Larry Headlee (32), salvage diver drowned in a submarine on September 21.
  • 1971 Robert E. Jones (49), drowned while swimming off Catalina Island on July 25.
  • 1972 George Jones (56), drowned at Big Fisherman Cove on February 20.
  • 1972 David Keith Hahn (28), drowned in a diving accident at Empire Landing on November 2.
  • 1973 [fatality] killed in a Piper PA-24 [N5334P] on January 14.
  • 1973 Michael Koontz (18), drowned while skin diving at Cherry Cove on April 1.
  • 1973 Barry Hoskin (26), drowned near Arrow Point on April 11.
  • 1973 Lisa Holmes (15), drowned at Blue Caverns on May 26.
  • 1973 Joseph H. Casper (34), drowned SCUBA diving at Little Geiger Cove on August 26.
  • 1973 James Pudoff (26), drowned while SCUBA diving at Little Harbor November 4.
  • 1974 3 drownings in 3 weekends
  • 1974 Karen Shaffer (26), drowned while SCUBA diving near Arrow Point on July 7.
  • 1976 [fatality] killed in a Beechcraft D45 [N14406] on November 5.
  • 1976 Joseph Jerhoff (39), drowned while SCUBA diving off his boat with two friends on November 16.
  • 1977 [fatality] killed in a Grumman Goose G-21 [N979SB] on August 19.
  • 1977 Charles C. Clifford (38), pilot killed in a Beechcraft E18S [N979SB] on August 22.
  • 1977 Robert G. Graves (38), killed in a Beechcraft E18S [N979SB] on August 22.
  • 1977 Colin Buckman (18) drowned while SCUBA diving at Cherry Cove September 11.
  • 1977 [fatality] killed in Bellanca 7ECA [N5233X] on December 14.
  • 1978 Mary Pesci (21) of Fullerton, drowned SCUBA diving at Ribbon Rock November 24.
  • 1978 Andrew Rich (23) of Santa Ana, drowned SCUBA diving at Ribbon Rock November 24.
  • 1978 Cal Brian Watts (23), killed when his 4WD rolled over at the lower dump on November 30.
  • 1979 Ruth Gardner (81), killed in a Catalina Air Grumman [N11CS] on April 14.
  • 1979 David Lee Riddle (38), pilot killed in his Piper PA-28 [N8432C] on December 10.
  • 1979 Eddie Reyes (20), passenger killed in Piper PA-28 [N8432C] on December 10.


1980s

  • 1980 Mark Anthony Felice (30), passenger killed in the crash of his cousin’s Piper PA-32 on January 26.
  • 1981 Natalie Wood (43), drowned off Robert Wagner’s boat at anchor on November 29.
  • 1981 [fatality] on a Catalina Airlines Sikorsky S-62A helicopter [N324Y].
  • 1981 [fatality] on Catalina Airlines Sikorsky S-62A helicopter [N324Y].
  • 1982 Alfred Asterman was killed when his Wing D-1 crashed on Catalina Island on June 11.
  • 1982 [fatality] passenger killed in a Wing D-1 crash on June 11.
  • 1983 Max Reinstein (62), pilot killed in a Piper PA-28-161 crash [N2239M] on January 3.
  • 1983 James Henry Gibbons (40), passenger killed in a Piper PA-28-161 crash [N2239M] on January 3.
  • 1984 Kenneth Doyle Plante (37), pilot killed in the crash of Leerjet 24 [N44GA] on January 30.
  • 1984 David Soderling (28), Co-pilot killed in the crash of Leerjet 24 [N44GA] on January 30.
  • 1984 Steven A. Berardi (42), was killed in the crash of Leerjet 24 [N44GA] on January 30.
  • 1984 Heather Berardi (40), was killed in the crash of Leerjet 24 [N44GA] on January 30.
  • 1984 Joe L. Denison (49), was killed in the crash of Leerjet 24 [N44GA] on January 30.
  • 1984 Oralyn Ann Denison (50), was killed in the crash of Leerjet 24 [N44GA] on January 30.
  • 1984 [fatality] killed in Piper Lance [N30298] on May 20.
  • 1984 [fatality] killed in Piper Lance [N30298] on May 20.
  • 1984 Lt. Cmdr. James R. Brodengeyer (37), was killed in his FA-18 Hornet when he hit the island on June 18.
  • 1985 [fatality] killed in a McDonnell Douglas F-18 on January 18.
  • 1985 Hossein Habibi (28), passenger killed in a Bell 206-L Jet Ranger on December 3.
  • 1987 Frank Sporer (65), drowned while SCUBA diving at the Isthmus on May 31.
  • 1987 Harold Stern (60), drowned while diving off Catalina Island on June 7.
  • 1988 Thomas Fortuna (35), drowned when his sailing catamaran capsized on May 29.
  • 1988 William Glose (33), killed when boat Impulse crashed into rocks at Lovers Cove in Dec.
  • 1988 Sean Caudillo (22), was killed when boat Impulse crashed into rocks at Lovers Cove.
  • 1988 Virginia M. Lopez (56), was killed by a Fineline Truck in her golf cart Dec. 24.
  • 1989 Gail Lynn Pisula (34), Murder. was murdered by her boyfriend, Bruce Kingman (42), on April 20.
  • 1989 Bryan Ballanger was killed in an accident involving the filming of Red October on Jule 14.
  • 1989 Robert Reid (84), was drowned in a boating accident on November 24.
  • 1989 Thelma Reid (75), was drowned in a boating accident on November 24.
  • 1989 Charles Reid was drowned in a boating accident on November 24.

1990s

  • 1991 Jay Mallen drowned off the dive boat Atlantis at Big Geiger Cove on April 14.
  • 1991 Kenneth W. Howard (34), drowned collecting fish at Isthmus Reef for aquaria on on May 15.
  • 1992 [fatality] killed in a Beechcraft A-36 [N583T] on May 2.
  • 1992 Edward Hayes (71), drowned SCUBA diving at Catalina Harbor on June 6.
  • 1993 [fatality] killed in a Beechcraft E-33 [N7882R] on February 15.
  • 1993 Laura Stein (42), killed when her Dodge Ram 150 Van drove off a cliff on May 27.
  • 1994 Jeffrey Noel Matson (33), killed in a Cessna 152 [N93508] on April 5.
  • 1995 Mark Steven Hopkins (44), drowned off Lion's Head Point on August 27.
  • 1996 Linda Seals (45), drowned trying to rescue her children from heavy surf on April 13.
  • 1997 [fatality] , pilot killed in Piper PA-28-161 [N8436X].
  • 1998 Darin Cameron (19), pilot killed in Cessna 172N [N6514E] on May 7.
  • 1998 Audrey Nizich (24) (sister) killed in Cessna 172N [N6514E] on May 7.
  • 1998 Peter Nizich (19) (brother) killed in Cessna 172N [N6514E] on May 7.
  • 1998 Jennifer Ortega (19), passenger killed in Cessna 172N [N6514E] on May 7.
  • 1998 Daniel Welker (28), pilot killed on Silver Peak in Cessna 152 [N49770] on September 30.
  • 1999 Walter L. Cecil (44), pilot killed in a Piper Aerostar 600 [N97CC] on November 21.
  • 1999 David Ramirez, Jr. (18), fell from the roof of the Glenmore Hotel after high school prom.

2000s

  • 2000 John Olsen (45), died in a SCUBA dive accident on May 27.
  • 2002 [fatality] (54), killed in Beechcraft 58TC [N2102L] on Aug. 2.
  • 2002 [fatality] (48) killed in Beechcraft 58TC [N2102L] on Aug. 2.
  • 2003 Scott Eric Hegger (35), pilot killed in a Piper-PA-34-200T [N3747U] on December 24.
  • 2003 Francine Gaume (44), passenger from France killed on December 24.
  • 2003 Justine Gaume (8), daughter of Francine Gaume killed on December 24.
  • 2003 Lucas Gaume (6). son of Francine Gaume killed on December 24.
  • 2004 Nelson Holl (51) drowned in a SCUBA diving accident on September 5.
  • 2005 Raffi Huverserian (c. 50) died as a result of SCUBA diving at Casino Point on March 30.
  • 2005 Frank M. Saldana (68), committed suicide by hanging March 31.
  • 2005 [fatality], pilot killed in an Avion Robbins R [N216RN] Aug. 31.
  • 2005 [fatality], pilot killed in Cessna 172RG [N9636B] on Sept. 7.
  • 2005 [fatality], killed in Cessna 172RG [N9636B] on Sept. 7.
  • 2006 [fatality] drowned while SCUBA diving at Casino Point in March.
  • 2006 Steven B. Williams (59), Murder. disc jockey murdered offshore by Harvey Morrow on May 18. Los Angeles County Coroner's Office case #063815
  • 2008 Emeric Maillet (33), pilot killed in the crash of Island Express Helicopter [N67GE] on May 24.
  • 2008 John Terry (25), employee killed in the crash of Island Express Helicopter [N67GE] on May 24.
  • 2008 Tania Hurd (46), teacher killed in the crash of Island Express Helicopter [N67GE] on May 24.
  • 2008 Timothy Hatch (31), drowned while free diving off his fathers boat at Palisades on June 15.
  • 2008 David Pike (50) SCUBA diver drowned at Casino Point on June 29.
  • 2008 Charles Cowan (74), pilot killed in the crash of Mooney M20J [N201EN] on October 20.
  • 2008 Jeanien Cowan (56), pilot’s wife killed in the crash of Mooney M20J [N201EN] on October 20.
  • 2008 Patricia Carmichael (61), friend killed in the crash of Mooney M20J [N201EN] on October 20.
  • 2009 Mark Hogland (48), pilot killed in plane crash near Mt. Orizaba on February 5.
  • 2009 Amy Marie Judd (25), passenger killed in plane crash near Mt. Orizaba on February 5.
  • 2009 Robert Myers (50), drowned from a defective dry-suit rebreather hose while SCUBA diving on March 6.
  • 2009 Mona Towle (56), drowned while SCUBA diving at Casino Point August 13.
  • 2009 Jesus Marti (33) drowned while SCUBA night-diving for lobsters on October 3.

2010s

  • 2010 Jeffrey Loeffler (53), pilot died of a heart attack flying his Cessna 182P [N222CG] on July 1.
  • 2010 Frank Cipriano (45), drowned in a dinghy accident near Eagle Reef in August.
  • 2010 Steve Eggleston (55), drowned while SCUBA diving near Valiant and Casino Point on Nov. 6.
  • 2011 James Raymond Robie (61), drowned while SCUBA diving at Arrow Point on a certification dive on Jan. 16.
  • 2011 [fatality] drowned while SCUBA diving at Casino Point on September 5.
  • 2012 Mark Rascon (47), drowned while SCUBA diving on July 27.
  • 2012 [fatality] (63), drowned while diving with a rebreather at either Ship Rock or Bird Rock (Coast Guard notice) on September 1.
  • 2013 Bob Meistrell (84), Body Glove co-founder died aboard his boat, Disappearance, at Cherry Cove on Fathers’ Day weekend in June.
  • 2014 Jared Royer (40), drowned in a SCUBA accident near Indian Rock on August 29.
  • 2014 Robert Butte (65), accidentally drowned in Avalon Harbor on September 25.
  • 2014 [fatality] drowned in a SCUBA accident on October 29.
  • 2014 Tim Mitchell (39), Harbor Patrol Assistant, accidentally drowned in Avalon Harbor's storm of December 30.
  • 2014 Bruce Raymond Ryder (53), boat live-aboard, drowned in Avalon Harbor's storm of December 30.
  • 2015 Michael Harris (26), killed in a late night dinghy accident at Descanso Bay September 6.
  • 2015 Tyler Hayden (25), killed in a late night dinghy accident at Descanso Bay September 6.
  • 2015 Belinda Joanne Nguyen (22), was fatally struck by a boat propeller while snorkeling at the Isthmus on Sept. 10.
  • 2015 unidentified teen diver drowned while diving off Eagle Rock on October 13.
  • 2015 Patric Nichols (57), drowned while SCUBA diving off the east end of the island December 19.
  • 2016 Edmond Haronian (50), student pilot who disappeared with his flight instructor after thei Cessna 172 departed Santa Catalina Island on May 28.
  • 2016 Jason Glazier (52), flight instructor and his passenger disappeared after take-off from Airport in the Sky, Catalina Island on May 28.
  • 2016 Alex Robbins (22), disappeared from his overturned skiff hit by a rogue wave on June 2.
  • 2016 Kyung Hwan Kim (47) drowned in a skiff accident at Salta Verde Point on June 25.
  • 2016 Jason Jung Noh (62) drowned in a skiff accident at Salta Verde Point on June 25.
  • 2016 Young Joon Park (64) drowned in a skiff accident at Salta Verde Point on June 25.
  • 2017 Derek Wrobel (53), a resident of Huntington Beach, died shortly after SCUBA diving at Casino Point on November 9.
  • 2018 Nicholas Hart (63), a Trabuco Canyon resident drowned near Two Harbors on July 14.
  • 2018 Robert Rubenstein (58), a Cerritos resident died while SCUBA diving off Lion's Head on August 25.




In the News~

December 14, 1927 [TI/Avalon]: “All indications point to murder,’ said Deputy Sheriff M. G. Weybright on the County Homicide Squad Thursday, after he had returned to Avalon with the unidentified remains of the man found near Seal Rocks. The clothing and bones were sent to the mainland for further examination. The local officers who accompanied Weybright, were Constable Tinch Moricich, City Marshall Don L. Alger and Deputy Constable Claude Walton, and it is understood that they have some strong clues which may clear up the mystery. The officers have two theories regarding the unidentified man’s death. First, that a duel was fought between two men who had landed in a rowboat on the rough beach near Seal Rocks, and secondly, that the man was killed and then robbed of a considerable sum. The officers are of the opinion that the tragedy occurred since last June. A watch found in the man’s pocket and laundry marks on the clothing have given the officers additional clues. On examination it was found that one shot had been fired from a Smith and Wesson 32 caliber revolver, and that the revolver was under the man’s left shoulder. The bullet which had caused the death was fired from a revolver of a much larger caliber. Some of the officers are of the opinion that the gun found with the body was ‘planted’ after the tragedy. Undisturbed, and in a patch of cactus, the body had been exposed to the elements for several months. The man was about 35 years of age, of light complexion, and six feet in height. He wore a suit of dark material, a cloth cap, blue shirt and a black leather belt. The coat pockets and the trousers pockets were turned inside out, and this and other data secured, led the officers to feel confident that the man had not taken his own life. The bullet which penetrated the man’s head entered the skull on the right side and caused instant death. The gun found under the body was opened at the cylinder. One cartridge had missed fire and one of the chambers in the cylinder was empty. There are no regular trails to the spot where the body was found, as this part of the island is seldom frequented, owing to the fact that goat hunting is prohibited in that section, and that it is difficult to land on the beach from a rowboat. The officers scouted the theory of accidental death while hunting.”


October 2, 2014 [nbclosangeles.com]: “Body of missing diver found off Santa Catalina Island. A commercial diving boat captain reported that one of is divers had gone missing Monday afternoon. The body of a missing scuba diver has been recovered 100 feet below the surface of the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Santa Catalina Island, sheriff's department officials said Thursday. Search and rescue crews scoured the waters near Emerald Cove for two days after a commercial dive boat captain told the U.S. Coast Guard that a diver from his boat had gone missing. The captain said the diver surfaced from the water Monday afternoon, cried for help and then slipped back under water. Search teams from multiple agencies looked for the diver by air, boat and in dive teams. The identity of the scuba diver has not been released. Officials said Tuesday afternoon the effort had been shifted from a rescue operation to a recovery mission, as they no longer believe the diver was alive. Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department dive crews continued the search. The investigation into the diver's disappearance is on-going.”


June 4 [1]: “Divers were searching for a man off the Catalina Island coast Thursday after a boat he was on capsized, officials said. The victim and another man were on a 15-foot skiff near China Point about 11:30 a.m. when a rogue wave caused the vessel to overturn and threw the men into the water, the U.S. Coast Guard said in a news release. One of the men was able to swim back to the boat and alert the Coast Guard that he was suffering a medical emergency and that the other man had not surfaced, officials said. The man was taken to the hospital with injuries described as mild, and a dive team remained in the water in search of the other victim, a 22-year-old man who was wearing a black sweatshirt and pants. Neither of the men were wearing life jackets, the Coast Guard said.”


October 13, 2015 [Inland Valley Daily Bulletin]: “A teenage diver pulled unconscious from the waters off Catalina Island died Tuesday morning when life-saving efforts failed, officials said.” The unidentified teenager was scuba diving 60 to 90 feet under water at the Great Escape, a popular diving area near Eagle Reef, lifeguard Capt. Ken Haskett said. He was in cardiac arrest when rescuers reached him. Authorities are investigating the incident and cause of death. “The emergency happened at depth,” he said. “He may have run out of air, but we don’t know yet. Los Angeles County lifeguards and paramedics responded to a rescue call at 11:24 a.m. The boy, who was believed to be about 14 or 15 years old, was transported to the Catalina Hyperbaric Chambers and later pronounced dead. His 23-year-old diving partner was treated and is in stable condition.”