Ranger

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Ranger (#111013) (1892-1897), wooden sloop of 12.75 tons; dimensions: 30.6 x 10.1 x 4.4. She was lost on San Nicolas Island in December 1897.

In December 1897, Ranger, under the command of a Captain Scherb, accompanied by his son Louis and deckhand Louis Stengel, were conveying Peter Cazes and George Minasjer from San Pedro to San Nicolas Island to care for the sheep. At the time, sheep ranching was centered on the eastern end of the island, near the sand spit. Arriving on December 9, Scherb and his crew anchored the vessel offshore, and accompanied their passengers to the island. While at San Nicolas Island, Ranger was dragged out to sea and, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, destroyed a few hours later when a storm pushed the vessel onto the rocks of the island. Stranded on San Nicolas Island for a week and forced to subsist on strict rations, the Ranger’s crew managed to attract the attention of another passing vessel on December 16 – the four- masted British ship Roby, out of London bound for San Diego. Rescued, the crew was brought to San Francisco.



In the News~

December 19, 1897 [LAH]: “Sloop Ranger wrecked on San Nicolas Island. San Diego, Cal. Dec. 18. — The four-masted British ship Roby, Capt. Jones, arrived in port today 144 days from London. Capt. Jones reports that last Thursday morning when off San Nicolas Island he was hailed by a crew in distress. He hove to and sent off a life boat to the distressed men, who were found to be five sailors and the captain of the sloop Ranger. The latter stated that he was engaged in taking supplies from San Pedro to St. Nicolas and that on the night of Dec. 9 his vessel dragged her anchor in a fearful storm and went on the rocks a total wreck, the crew escaping with their lives only. All the men had been without shelter for seven days and were suffering greatly for food. They were taken on board by Captain Jones and shown every attention and will be sent to San Pedro tomorrow.”


December 19, 1897 [LAT/SD]: “The four-masted British ship Ruby, Captain Jones, arrived in port today, 144 days from London. Captain Jones reports that last Thursday morning, when off San Nicolas Island, he was hailed by a crew in distress. He hove to and sent off a lifeboat to the distressed men, who were found to be five sailors and the captain of the sloop Ranger. The latter stated that he was engaged in taking supplies from San Pedro to San Nicolas, and that on the night of December 9 his vessel dragged her anchor in a fearful storm and went on the rocks, a total wreck, the crew escaping with their lives only. All of the men had been without shelter for seven days, and were suffering greatly for food and nourishment. They were taken on board by Captain Jones, and shown every attention, and will be sent to San Pedro tomorrow.”


January 1, 1898 [LAH]: “Captain William Gerrull, whose schooner Minna was wrecked off San Clemente Island recently, left port a few days ago with the schooner Lena in the hope of finding something of value from his boat. He returned last night having in tow the sloop Ranger of San Pedro, which went adrift off St. Nicholas [San Nicolas] Island on Dec. 9, and whose crew was brought here on the British ship Roby. The Ranger was found by Gerrull about 3 miles offshore drifting leisurely towards the tropics. The Ranger is a little battered, but Skipper Gerrull expects several hundred dollars as a reward for his prize.”