PHILLIPSEN, Severin

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PHILLIPSEN, Severin ( -1901), Norwegian sealer who drowned at San Miguel Island along with two Captain Andy Knutzen.

In the News~

July 2, 1901 [LAT]: “Two schooners arrived this evening from San Miguel Island, bringing a tale of loss of life and privations on San Miguel. The boats are the Ellen and the Santa Cruz, small schooners from San Diego. The Santa Cruz had been at San Miguel Island about two weeks. She was under command of Captain Andy Knutzen, who was accompanied by Phil Anderson and Severin Phillipsen, all Norwegian sealers. Who had formed a little company to seal on the island on shares. On the afternoon of July 3, the three men attempted to go ashore in a cove on the west end of the island where the sea is always treacherous. They were approaching the shores, when a blind breaker struck the boat and overturned it without a moment’s warning. Phillipsen and Knutzen went down struggling in the foaming waters. Anderson managed to cling to the bottom of the boat and drifted several miles, at last going ashore in a little cove near Pinnacle Rock. Weak and exhausted, he was a prisoner on the beach, for the bluff at that point is almost inaccessible. For two days he was alone on the beach with nothing to eat but raw abalones. On the third day he plucked up strength, and from sheer desperation climbed the cliff to the land above. It is a mystery how he managed to get up. He then got to a camp of Chinamen, and in a short time the Ellen, Captain Curl, hove in sight and dropped anchor in the cove where the Santa Cruz was at anchor. Anderson hailed them from the beach and they went ashore and took him to his boat. The Ellen is also a sealing schooner. Anderson is pretty much used up. He will get a seaman here and return to San Diego as soon as possible. He and his men had taken only about two hundred seals when the accident occurred. Aboard the schooner with Anderson are a fox terrier and bull pup, the property of the two drowned men.”