Petrel (launch)

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Petrel (#) (-)

In the News~

February 11, 1904 [LAT/LB]: “The launch Petrel brought in 600 pounds of sea bass yesterday. None except deep-sea fish are caught.”

April 18, 1905 [SBMP]: “The Frances, which was formerly the property of the Potter Hotel Company, has arrived from Ocean Park in charge of Captain Bell, and the Petrel from Long Beach has been brought in by her owner, H. N. Aldrich. This adds to the congestion to the boat service at Stearn's Wharf...”

March 30, 1908 [LAT]: “Deputy Game Warden John C. Wray left here today in the launch Petrel for a two weeks’ inspection of fishing conditions and equipment on and around the Channel Islands. Accompanying Warden Wray are Professor George H. Andrews of the Smithsonian Institute and Dr. Joseph B. Tanner and John M. Beckwith of Los Angeles. The party will land first on Santa Cruz Island and later Anacapa, San Clemente and San Nicolas, returning via Santa Catalina. An inspection will be made of all lobster traps on the islands.”

April 3, 1908 [OT]: “Drowns in surf: San Pedro. Dr. Joseoh B. Tanner, assistant police surgeon at Los Angeles was drowned yesterday off Santa Cruz Island, where he had gone with a party of friends on the yacht Petrel last Monday.”

April 10, 1908 [SBMP]: “Gruesome tale from Santa Cruz Island of Police Sergeant’s [Surgeon’s] Drowning. Ed Foley, one of the men who helped to recover the body of the Los Angeles police surgeon who was drowned while attempting to land on Santa Cruz Island some ten days ago, was in town yesterday and gave a vivid account of the mishap and the Poe-like incidents connected with his part in the unfortunate event. It appears that the power launch Petrel, with a police sergeant and several friends on board, came to anchor 100 yards off an unfrequented portion of [Santa Cruz] island and, lowering their skiff, the sergeant and a companion rowed towards the surf. The waves rolled high at this point and there was a tremendous ‘back-wash.’ The skiff was upset and the occupants caught in the swirl of the surf which would throw them headlong upon the shore and then just as they regained their feet suck them back into the maelstrom again. The captain of the Petrel, seeing the plight of his passengers, jumped overboard and swam gallantly to their rescue. Being more skilled at surf work he succeeded in gaining a footing and in dragging one half-drowned occupant of the skiff above the danger line. The captain then turned his attention to the [surgeon], but realized the hopelessness of his efforts, for the surf was playing football with the body, rolling it just out of reach. Meanwhile the Petrel had steamed to Forney’s Cove for help, and secured the assistance of ‘Big Jerry’ Shively and Ed Foley, who in their own skiff set out for the scene of the accident. By forming a human chain, they succeeded in beaching the surgeon’s body, but although they worked over him, it was obvious that the life had been battered out of him probably before he drowned. They set about looking for the other survivor, and finally found him in a half-demented condition wandering about a canyon unclad. Foley and Shively now attempted to carry the corpse and the captain back to the Petrel through the surf in their small skiff built for two live men. Foley gives a gruesome description of finding himself in the spume with the boat bottom-up and the corpse clinging in rigor mortis around his neck. The skiff was righted, but upset three times with its living and moribund freight before the launch was gained, the battle having lasted two and a half hours. The Petrel with its funeral party made for Venice.”