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Liebre (#221073) (1921-1953), 435-foot oil tanker launched in December 1920 at San Francisco and completed in February 1921. Liebre went aground on the southeast shore of Anacapa Island just before midnight on February 28, 1921. By jettisoning cargo and backing down on the engines, the captain was able to back Liebre off the rocks and return to San Pedro Harbor. At the time of the incident, she was on her maiden voyage from San Pedro to Seattle. Liebre continued in service for more than thirty years, until she was scrapped in November 1953.

In the News~

March 2, 1921 [LAT]: “Los Angeles Harbor. March 1. The 10,200-ton oil tanker Liebre, which went on the rocks on Anacapa Island in the Santa Barbara group at 11 o’clock last night, will go into dry dock at the plant of the Los Angeles Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company tomorrow for a survey and repairs. Before going into dry dock, the cargo of 75,000 barrels of oil will be pumped from the vessel at the Standard Oil dock. The Liebre, which was on her maiden voyage from San Pedro to Seattle, ran aground six hours after leaving the local harbor. Captain Cameron said his vessel grounded in a dense fog. After being held in a perilous position on the rocky shore of the island, the Liebre was floated four hours later at high tide. S.O.S. calls for assistance had been sent out, but the vessel pulled off under its own power before other vessels had reached the scene. Had the vessel gone on the rocks a few hours later, at high tide, it would have been necessary to discharge its entire cargo of oil, valued at several hundred thousand dollars, into the sea in order to lighten the vessel. The vessel raised itself sufficiently with the incoming tide to free itself, however, when the high water mark was reached at 3 A.M. Proceeding back to the local harbor under slow speed, the tanker dropped anchor in the outer harbor at 12:50 P.M. It was impossible at that time to determine the extent of damage done, and no survey will be made until the ship is placed in dry dock. The entire six sections of the 12,000-ton dry dock at the shipyard will be used in lifting the giant tanker. Had not the dry dock been completed a few weeks ago, the Liebre would have had to proceed to San Francisco for the repairs which will be made here. The Liebre was launched at San Francisco in December, was completed in February, and arrived at the harbor on her first trip Sunday morning. She is a sister ship of the tanker Yorba Linda, which sailed from here on her maiden voyage to Tampico two weeks ago.”

March 11, 1921 [SBMP]: “The stranding of the oil tanker Liebre on Anacapa Island during a dense fog recently has proved an event of scientific significance. When the bow of the vessel drove into the beach, it uncovered asphaltum deposits in which were found a number of bones. These, according to advices from Ventura, are the fossil remains of mastadons and sabre-tooth tigers. The theory is held that the asphaltum deposit was once in a more liquid state and acted as a trap for the prehistoric monsters, and the asphaltum has kept the bones in an excellent state of preservation, and they will be sent to the Smithsonian Institute at Washington.”