LA RICCA, Louis Franklin (1927-1954)[SS#268-20-2312] drowned when his boat sank at Santa Catalina Island on October 21. He was 27 years old.
In the News~
October 21, 1954 [The Catalina Islander]: “Two men spend night in ocean; one survives. Late bulletin: It has been learned that the survivor of the boat mishap is Chet Hemmingin, 26, of Tarzana, and his companion who died was Louis LaRicca, 28, of Sun Valley. Their craft, which split in two after a hull leak, was the 20-foot cruiser, Ginger, a brand-new boat. Two men, unidentified at press time late Wednesday, were forced to spend the night in the ocean with life-jackets after their boat sprung a leak and capsized Tuesday night. One passed away from the ordeal. They were picked up at 7:28 Wednesday morning after being in the water since about 6:00 the previous night. The two had intended to follow the wake of the steamer over to the mainland Tuesday, but sprung a leak and sank fast. It is not known exactly the type of boat they were in, but it is presumed a small outboard or inboard. Employees of the Graham Brothers Quarry heard a cry for help from the one who survived early Wednesday morning and put out in a boat to revive him. He was located about a mile off Empire Landing. After picking him up, they went a little farther out, and got the body of the other man, who apparently passed away between 4:30 and 7:30 Wednesday morning. The survivor reported he talked with him about 4:30 in the morning, after which they became separated. The terrifying ordeal failed to take both lives, and the survivor was in pretty good shape. The other apparently died of exposure or drowning. The Coast Guard took both over to the mainland yesterday morning about 10:00 according to Malcolm Bizzl, office manager of the Graham Quarry.”
October 22, 1954 [San Bernardino County Sun]: “Man drowns as boat sinks off Catalina. Long Beach — The Coast Guard reported that a Sun Valley man drowned off Catalina Island after a motorboat sank, but is companion was rescued by a tugboat. The tug Smitty recovered the body of Louis LaRicca, 28, of 1815 Redbank Ave., Sun Valley, and rescued Chet Henninger, 26, of 18612 Linnet St., Tarzana.”