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PIERSON, Will ( -1915), San Pedro sailor who drowned off San Clemente Island on December 1, 1915.

In the News~

December 2, 1915 [LAH]: “Captain risks life but fails to save man in breakers. Fishing launch brings in story of heroism and battle for life. Big swell wrecks skiff. Sailor drowns as boat collapses; comrade swims to safety. A story of heroism and a fight against almost overwhelming odds was divulged today when the fishing steam launch S. S. put into San Pedro today and announced the death by drowning of Will Pierson, a sailor of San Pedro. Pierson was drowned off San Clemente Island when a skiff from the launch capsized throwing Pierson and Captain S. C. Fosstrum into the water. The boat was overturned by a heavy ground swell and the sides crushed. Captain Fosstrum attempted to aid Pierson, who could not swim, but the man sank almost immediately. Fosstrum saved his own life by a long distance swim to the launch. He was picked up in an exhausted condition. The crew made every effort to locate the body of the drowned fisherman, but all attempts were unsuccessful. When it became evident that the body could not be recovered the launch made for San Pedro and reported the death of Pierson. Captain Fosstrum, although suffering from his long swim, was otherwise uninjured.”