Equator (#257143) (1949-1949), 93-foot wood-hulled commercial fishing vessel which sank near Anacapa Island on July 2, 1949. The vessel struck rocks about 150 yards from shore near East Fish Camp, and quickly sank. She was a large fishing vessel out of San Pedro, and not a part of the local fleet. Equator was captained by Nick Trutanich of San Pedro; had a crew of five and was loaded with frozen fish from Central America.
In the News~
July 3, 1949 [Santa Cruz Sentinal]: “Crew of Sinking Fishing Boat Saved. San Pedro, July 2.—The captain and five crew members of the fishing craft Equator were rescued by the Coast Guard today after their boat sank near Anacapa Island, 25 miles northwest of here. Nick Trutanich of San Pedro, the Equator's skipper, said the boat struck rocks 150 yards offshore and sank quickly in four and a half fathoms of water. None of the men was injured. The rescue was made by the Coast Guard buoy tender, Blackthorn.
July 2, 1959 [OPC]: “Ten years ago. A $50,000 tuna cargo was at stake as a salvage crew tried to free a purse seiner from a sandbar off Anacapa Island. The 106 foot Equator, captained by Nick Tutanich of San Pedro, had gone aground on the sandbar in an early morning fog while on its way to the Columbia River Packing Co. in Astoria, Oregon.”
n.d. [Pacific Underwater Nation]: “There’s a fairly old wreck on the south side of Anacapa Island that has held a certain fascination for me for the last three or for years. This is the wreck, or what’s left of the tuna clipper Equator. The reason I’ve shown so much interest in it, is that somewhere on or around it is a twenty-two ft. seven inches in diameter monel shaft worth (on today’s market) about nine thousand bucks. I don’t know how you feel about having an extra grand laying around, but for me, it’s wine, women and song in that chronological order. She was a hard luck ship, for her owners, for her crew, and even me… from the laying of her keel to her final death throes on the rocks at Anacapa. When they launched her they must have gotten a hold of a bottle of champagne that had gone flat, because seconds after the traditional bottle breaking over the bow, the ways collapsed, much to the terror and consternation of everyone concerned. When the ways busted the poor old Equator was left lying on her port side with her keel twisted… She ewas in service less than a year when her owners decided to take their families on a pleasure cruise around the Channel Islands, and that’s when it happened — she sprang a leak. The wasn’t just any ordinary type leak, she was taking on more water than the pumps could handle and if there isn’t help nearby the next best thing to do with a sinking boat is to beach her. Well, if they planned for a week they couldn’t have picked a worse place for their little beaching party. The final resting place of the Equator is a rock strewn little bay where you couldn’t hope to get a stranded boat off in one piece. If they’s gone up or down the island only a half mile in either direction they might have made it. A big salvage company started to work on it to try and save some of the equipment. They knew they didn’t have a ghost of a chance to save the whole ship, because she was now broadside to the cliffs. They got the big Enterprise diesel engine and a lot of the pumps and deck equipment off, but the weather started kicking up so they decided to leave the rest, including the monel propeller shaft, as monel wasn’t worth as much then as now. The way I got wind of it was from Charles Isbell, a world famous hard hat diver friend of mine who is running Divecon, a diving company in London, England. He was here a few years back recruiting divers for work in the North Sea an North Africa, to dive for the oil companies…”