DEATHS: SANTA CRUZ ISLAND

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19th CENTURY DEATHS

  • 1854 William Butterfield, Island resident who drowned on September 15 departing on Queen of the West.
  • 1856 John Henry Kelty seaman from the Francis Skiddy, drowned while sea bathing on June 9.
  • [1868 Jose ______] Shaw/SCICo employee, Indian murdered by Francisco Dominguez in S.B.
  • 1871 James Tryce, a sealer taken sick in mid-June on San Miguel Island; he died Santa Cruz Island.
  • 1876 Chinaman jumped overboard from the Star of Freedom and was drowned May 29.
  • 1893 Louis Raynal, SCICo employee killed by a mowing machine.


20th CENTURY DEATHS

  • 1901 Felix Botiller accidentally drowned off the schooner Santa Cruz on January 8.
  • 1902 August Erickson, Swedish fisherman who drowned in early March off Smugglers.
  • 1904 S. W. Cooney drowned in the vicinity of Lady’s Harbor in November.
  • 1908 Lucero, an Italian fisherman who drowned November 11 while fishing.
  • 1910 Thomas Del Valle accidentally drowned in a skiff accident off Cueva Valdez on July 8.
  • 1910 Isabel Pierce accidentally drowned in a skiff accident off Cueva Valdez on July 8.
  • 1912 Pietro Noceti, SCICo employee accidentally drowned at Scorpion on September 15.
  • 1912 George Tappan committed suicide (shot himself in the head) at Fry’s Harbor December 31.
  • 1913 David Jacobs was drowned off the Gussie M on June 29 returning from Santa Cruz Island.
  • 1915 Belisario Valencia, SCICo employee accidentally drowned at Scorpion Harbor on February 23.
  • 1915 Ento Miyamatsu, a Japanese fisherman aboard Rambler was drowned on September 15.
  • 1916 Peter Cruz, camp fisherman killed by a landslide.
  • 1916 Wes Thompson, Eaton employee fell off a bluff at Pelican Bay.
  • 1917 Lodovico Leone (32), died as a result of being kicked by a horse on January 28.
  • 1917 T. Nio, Japanese fisherman stabbed at camp at Smugglers Cove.
  • 1918 Tony Salvo fisherman drowned at Gull Island on December 7.
  • 1921 John Olivera died of spinal meningitis on February 15.
  • 1924 Mary S. Wilkinson, camper drowned in a skiff at accident at Arch Rock near Cueva Valdez.
  • 1924 Milton Stewart camper drowned in a skiff at accident at Arch Rock near Cueva Valdez.
  • 1924 Dr. Hal Bishop camper drowned in a skiff at accident at Arch Rock near Cueva Valdez.
  • 1928 Chris De Rode, seaman on the schooner Irene, died from injuries filming The Rescue.
  • 1933 Caroline Imboden (40) Committed suicide by hanging on the east end of the island.
  • 1953 Ross Smith Diver off the Bonnie Lee drowned when his mask slipped off April 22.
  • 1954 William Chacon (24) drowned while abalone diving at Santa Cruz Island on May 12.
  • 1961 Regino Vital Cruz SCICo employee fell from horse at Christy and died of his injuries.
  • 1964 James C. Wilson father who, along with his three sons, went missing on a boating trip to the island on May 2.
  • 1966 Wallace Bassett (49) Pilot, died in a plane accident flying in to Christy Ranch on March 8.
  • 1966 Gordon Ridge hunting guide killed in a plane accident flying in to Christy Ranch on March 8.
  • 1966 Ted Shatt (27) hunting guide killed in a plane accident flying in to Christy Ranch on March 8.
  • 1966 John R. Russell hunter killed in a plane accident flying in to Christy Ranch on March 8.
  • 1966 Jack L. Wheeler (33) hunter killed in a plane accident flying in to Christy Ranch on March 8.
  • 1966 John Gilbert hunter killed in a plane accident flying in to Christy Ranch on March 8.
  • 1966 Claude Casey hunter killed in a plane accident flying in to Christy Ranch on March 8.
  • 1966 Raleigh Wallace (59) Pilot, died in a plane accident leaving Christy on the same day, March 8.
  • 1967 Luciano Moreno (41) Worked on the East End of the island for the Gherinis. He died after being butted by a ram on June 23.
  • 1968 Edward G. Bell (25) Camp guide, drowned off Albert’s Anchorage May 4.
  • 1970 Beverly Wight (28) drowned while SCUBA diving on November 8.
  • 1971 Arthur Garbini (49) Hunter hit by a plane wing at Christy February 10.
  • 1972 Charles Kern (23) drowned at Santa Cruz Island in March.
  • 1973 Byron Blom (32) Student fell from a cliff to his death near Willows on April 8.
  • 1975 Larry Greenlee Drowned when Gladys I sank off Yellowbanks on June 2. Two survived.
  • 1979 James Oppen (59), attorney found shot aboard his yacht, Chronic Bitcher on August 21. Suicide was determined.
  • 1980 ? Hunter died of a heart attack.
  • 1981 Verna Jo Roehler (36) Murdered by her husband, Frederick Roehler, anchored at Scorpion January 2.
  • 1981 Douglas Johnson (8) Murdered by his step-father, Frederick Roehler, anchored at Scorpion January 2.
  • 1985 Andy Gordon (27) drowned near Hungryman’s Gulch in a SCUBA accident August 26.
  • 1987 unidentified diver (45) drowned SCUBA diving off the western side of Santa Cruz Island on May 31.
  • 1987 Carey Stanton (64) Island owner died of heart stoppage December 8.
  • 1989 Robert McLaughlin Drowned at age 15 in a SCUBA accident off Fry’s Harbor on July 12.
  • 1990 Thomas Barrett (61) Oklahoma attorney fell from a cliff at Pelican Bay September 9.
  • 1993 John Karaka (39), drowned while SCUBA diving at Santa Cruz Island February 13.
  • 1993 Sang Gyu Choi (30) and six others drowned in the sinking of the fishing vessel, Vil Vana on April 9.
  • 1993 William Choi (17) and six others drowned in the sinking of the fishing vessel, Vil Vana on April 9.
  • 1993 Donnie Watkins (41) and six others drowned in the sinking of the fishing vessel, Vil Vana on April 9.
  • 1993 Benjamin Jordan (24) and six others drowned in the sinking of the fishing vessel, Vil Vana on April 9.
  • 1993 Dan Pelton (33) and six others drowned in the sinking of the fishing vessel, Vil Vana on April 9.
  • 1993 unidentified and six others drowned in the sinking of the fishing vessel, Vil Vana on April 9.
  • 1995 Charles Greenberg (45) TNC guest died of a heart attack at the Main Ranch September 5.
  • 1996 Oscar Urzua (45) drowned while SCUBA diving off the island December 2 [?].
  • 1996 ? Boater fell from a cliff at Tinkers Cove.
  • 1997 Diane Kunst (44), drowned while SCUBA diving off Peace at Potato Rock on July 27.
  • 1997 Howard Guy Lubin (54), was found floating offshore near Scorpion Ranch on December 27.
  • 1998 Daren Cornelius (32), drowned while SCUBA diving at Santa Cruz Island on October 10.


21st CENTURY DEATHS

  • 2005 Grace Wang (26) Taiwanese kayaker drowned at the east end of the island on May 29.
  • 2006 Michael Caligiuri (48) fisherman drowned in the wreck of the 5G's out of Santa Barbara harbor on July 11.
  • 2006 Joseph Breck (45) fisherman drowned in the wreck of the 5G's out of Santa Barbara harbor on July 11.
  • 2007 Stewart Hindley (64) Drowned in a Truth Aquatics SCUBA diving accident off Vision on July 10.
  • 2009 Thomas Pruner (49) Hiker died of heat stroke hiking from Prisoners to Scorpion October 16.
  • 2010 Trevor Correia (22) Camper (baseball pitcher’s brother) fell off a cliff at Potato Harbor May 8.
  • 2010 Frank Cipriano (45) drowned off a dinghy near Eagle Reef in August.
  • 2010 Kristopher Carlsen (27) SCUBA diver drowned diving for lobsters near Fraser Point December 5.
  • 2011 Jiajuang Zhu (38) Diver off the Conception drowned on the south side Santa Cruz Island.
  • 2012 Sophorn Bun Sieng (37) Drowned when their 24-foot pleasure fishing boat capsized offshore March 10.
  • 2012 Terrell Horne (34) Coast Guardsman run over and killed in panga bust at the east end Dec. 2.
  • 2012 Christopher Mondiek (23) Camper taking photos fell from a cliff near Yellowbanks December 18.
  • 2016 William Sullivan () Diver drowned off the vessel Conception at Pelican Bay on March 19.
  • 2018 Steve Anderson (51) Hiker died of a heart attack returning from Scorpion Harbor on the Island Packer boat on May 3.


DISASTER OF THE CONCEPTION BURNING AT PLATT'S HARBOR, SANTA CRUZ ISLAND, SEPTEMBER 2, 2019. 34 CASUALTIES:

  • 2019 — 1. Alexandra "Allie" Kurtz (26), galley cook aboard Conception
  • 2019 — 2. Kristy Finstad (41), marine biologist who owned Worldwide Diving Adventures with her husband
  • 2019 — 3. Nicole Storm Quitasol (31), Imperial Beach, CA (sister) (bartender)
  • 2019 — 4. Evanmichel Solano Quitasol (37), Stockton, CA (sister) (nurse at St. Joseph's Medical Center)
  • 2019 — 5. Angela Rose Quitasol (28), Stockton, CA (sister) (middle school science teacher)
  • 2019 — 6. Michel Storm Quitasol (62), Modesto, CA (father) birthday trip
  • 2019 — 7. Fenisa Sison, Modesto, CA (step-mother)
  • 2019 — 8. Raymond Scott Chan (59), Los Altos, CA (father) (physics teacher at American High School)
  • 2019 — 9. Kendra Chan (26), Los Altos, CA (daughter)
  • 2019 — 10. Lisa Fiedler (52), Mill Valley, CA (hair dresser and nature photographer) (went alone on the trip)
  • 2019 — 11. Patricia Beitzinger (47), Phoenix, AZ (couple)
  • 2019 — 12. Neal Baltz (42), Phoenix, AZ (couple)
  • 2019 — 13. Steve Salika (55), Santa Cruz, CA (husband, father of student at Pacific Collegiate High School, Apple employee)
  • 2019 — 14. Carol Dianna Adamic (60), Santa Cruz, CA (wife and mother of student at Pacific Collegiate High School)
  • 2019 — 15. Tia Salika (17), Santa Cruz, CA (daughter and student at Pacific Collegiate High School) (17th birthday trip)
  • 2019 — 16. Berenice Felipe, Santa Cruz, CA (student at Pacific Collegiate High School)
  • 2019 — 17. Dan Garcia(46), (husband; Apple employee)
  • 2019 — 18. Yulia Krashennaya (40), Berkeley, CA (wife)
  • 2019 — 19. Marybeth Guiney (61), Santa Monica, CA (sales director)
  • 2019 — 20. Charles "Chuck" McIlavain (44), Santa Monica, CA (visual effects designer for Walt Disney)
  • 2019 — 21. Kristian Takvam (34), (worked for the web company, Brilliant)
  • 2019 — 22. Carrie McLaughlin (35), (worked for the web company, Brilliant)
  • 2019 — 23. Vaidehi Campbell (41), Soquel, CA (worked for the Soquel Creek Water District)
  • 2019 — 24. Adrian Dahood-Fritz (40), (wife) (CA state senior environmental scientist)
  • 2019 — 25. Andrew Fritz (40), (husband; photographer)
  • 2019 — 26. Wei Tan (26), (Singaporean citizen, lived in Santa Barbara; U.C. Berkeley graduate in industrial engineering)
  • 2019 — 27. Sunil Sandhu (46), San Francisco, CA (Singaporean citizen; Senior Scientist for the Pointcloud Inc. tech company based in San Francisco)
  • 2019 — 28. Kaustubh Nirmal (44), Stamford, CT (husband, accountant and Indian national)
  • 2019 — 29. Sanjeeri Deopujari (32), Stamford, CT (wife, dentist and Indian national)
  • 2019 — 30. Justin Carroll Dignam (58), Anaheim, CA
  • 2019 — 31. Ted Strom (62), Germantown, TN
  • 2019 — 32.
  • 2019 — 33.
  • 2019 — 34.




In the News~

June 1, 1987 [LAT]: “Two men died in separate scuba diving incidents. Lifeguards said Frank Sporer, 65, of Bakersfield was dead on arrival at the USC Marine Center's hyperbaric chamber on Santa Catalina Island, after he lost consciousness after a dive at the Isthmus. And a 46-year-old man died after being airlifted to the hyperbaric chamber at Los Robles Regional Medical Center in Thousand Oaks from the western side of Santa Cruz Island, where he lost consciousness after surfacing from a dive.”