SHIPWRECKS: ANACAPA ISLAND

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SHIPWRECKS: ANACAPA ISLAND

WRECKED VESSEL
1853 Winfield Scott
1891 Pearl
1901 Dawn
1904 Glendale
1921 + refloated Liebre
1924 Labor
1930 Starlight
1931 Owl
1931 Zingara
1933 Bar-bee
1933 + refloated Beulah
1937 Louise Ray
1942 Annie M. Rolph
1946 Nancy B
1949 Balboa
1949 Equator
1949 San Francisco
1950 San Giuseppe
1951 Seaborn
1952 Coos Bay
1952 Del Rio
1954 Adore
1955 Gypsy Q
1955 Louise D
1957 unnamed (see below)
1958 Dorothy M
1958 Gosling
1958 unnamed (see below)
1966 Eros
1967 Paul C
1968 unnamed (see below)
1969 Island Packer
1969 Pinocchio
1970 Rosamond
1977 Shamrock
1979 Sea Wanderer
1993 Traci Lynn
1999 Jackobson



In the News~

October 11, 1920 [SDET]: “$10,000 to repair damaged destroyer. It will cost $10,000 to repair the bow of the destroyer Thornton, which went aground in a fog on Anacapa Island recently, according to navy estimates. A court martial is ordered this week for Com. A. G. Stirling, who commanded the Thornton at the time. The charge brought against him is reported to be negligence. President of the court martial board is given as Capt. D. W. Knox, commanding the cruiser Brooklyn. The Thornton was taken to Mare Island for repairs.”


December 17, 1957 [Redlands Daily Facts]: “Copter Perches on Ledge, Rescues Three. Oxnard—A daring helicopter rescue crew perched one wheel of the craft on a ledge 200 feet up the 900-foot Anacapa Island cliff on Monday to pick up three fishermen stranded on the island Sunday night. Charles Parker, N. H. Barbeau and Don M. Randall, all of Ventura, were fishing off the island late Sunday when their boat crashed on some rocks and sank. The three men crawled up the face of the cliff but found themselves unable to move beyond a ledge at the 200-foot mark. A Coast Guard worker saw the fishermen and called Oxnard Air Force Base. An attempt was made to rescue the men Sunday night, but rain and winds forced rescuers to abandon the effort. First Lt. Leland Kennedy braved bad weather again Monday and succeeded in dropping one wheel of his craft on the ledge and holding the copter in position while the fishermen climbed aboard. The men were treated for cold, shock and exposure at the air base and then were released.”


December 19, 1957 [OPC]: “Everyone rejoices that three fishermen were rescued early last Monday [December 16, 1957] from a high ledge on Anacapa Island, after they had swum from their boat that went aground. The work of the helicopter crew that brought the men off was superb. The work of the Coast Guard in discovering them in the first place was fortunate. Heavy risks were taken in vain efforts to find them, the night before they were removed. The men got out of the scrape with nothing worse than the discomforts of exposure and a few bruises...”


September 2, 1958 [OPC]: “1 Saved, 2 Missing in Boating Mishap. A Foster Park man was rescued and two companions apparently drowned after their small fishing boat overturned while they were refueling it about five miles off Anacapa Island late Saturday. The fog-shrouded coastal water this morning continued to defy Coast Guardsmen and others in their attempts to locate the missing men. Missing and presumed drowned are: William L. Hartveld, 42, 61 Stanley Avenue, Ventura J. D. Scurlock, 38, 187 Eva Street, Ventura. The third man, Donald Spencer, Route 1 Box 708, Foster Park, was picked up by the Japanese freighter Nichiwa Maru off Anacapa Island at 3:32 p.m. Sunday after more than 21 hours in the water, supported by a buoyant boat cushion. When the freighter docked early today in San Francisco, he told the Inited Press International reporters the trio had been refueling their outboard motor off Anacapa Island about 6 p.m. Saturday when a large wave struck the boat and it overturned. He said they tried to swim to Anacapa, about five miles away, but currents swept them away from the island. Mr. Hartveld sank below the surface after just two hours before Mr. Spencer was rescued, he said. Mr. Spencer said his rescue can be credited to an unidentified Japanese seaman “with the eyes of an eagle” who spotted him floating in the fogbound waters. Mr. Spencer was reported suffering from exhaustion, but otherwise appeared to be in good health and seemed to be recovering from his ordeal. When word was flashed to the Coast Guard after Mr. Spencer was found, all rescue agencies in the county swung into action. Arthur Maloy, Jr. 434 East Laurel St., Oxnard, and Lt. Al Jalaty of the Sheriff's office in Oxnard, flew over the sea late Sunday in James Reardon's private plane, but were unable to spot anything because of the fog which continued to blanket the area up to noon today. Two Coast Guard cutters were dispatched from the Los Angeles area and continue to scour the waters off the coast today. A helicopter from Oxnard Air Force Base swept the area near Anacapa Island late Saturday [?], but was forced to give up because of fog and half-mile visibility below a 200-foot ceiling. Pilot and copilot were Air Force Lts. Frederick J. Schwelbold and Robert H. Rockwell.”


September 2, 1958 [Eureka Humboldt Standard]:


February 11, 1962 [LAT]: “Encino — Encino diver finds anchor sunken ship off Anacapa. The discovery of a hand-wrought iron anchor about 150 years old in 65 ft. of water near Anacapa Island off Port Hueneme has created a mystery which Chester (Chet) Jones, Encino skin diver, will attempt to solve. "So far as known there is no report of a ship being sunk in this particular area," Jones said. "But the finding of the anchor embedded in coral, which showed that it had been there a long time and not carried along the bottom by currents, and the discovery in the same area of a hand-made spike, indicate that a ship may have gone down there." Jones said the spike was from a wooden-hull vessel and he estimated that it was about the same age as the anchor. The anchor and spike were found by Jones and two Glendale brothers, Tom and Lou Nunno, who were diving for sport using SCUBA (self-contained under water breathing apparatus) equipment. The anchor weighs about 40 pounds, has a 3-1/2 ft. shank and measures 2-1/2 ft. from fluke to fluke. Jones said the search for other parts of a sunken ship will be made this spring because winter weather is not a good time for diving. The recovery of the anchor was quite a task, Jones said. It had to be pried loose from the coral at a depth of 65 ft., which, while not considered a deep dive, creates severe working conditions. Jones said 90% of the diving usually is made in the top 30 ft. of water. Working at greater depths "tires a person quickly and you have to move slowly to conserve energy," Jones said. Jones said he has been diving in locations of several known wrecks along the coast but the finding of an anchor apparently from an unreported sunken ship presents a challenge to try and find more evidence to indicate what type of ship, and perhaps what particular ship went down off the island. Jones started diving as a hobby six years ago and his skill and experience has resulted in his being certified by Los Angeles County as a skin and SCUBA diving instructor.”


May 4, 1964 [Desert Sun]: “Santa Barbara. A father and three sons were presumed drowned during the weekend after their 17-foot outboard cabin cruiser was found capsized in the ocean near Anacapa Island. James C. Wilson, a geologist of nearby Goleta and the boys — 11-year-old twins and a 13-year-old were last seen Saturday as they left on a trip to Santa Cruz Island to study rock formations.”


April 23, 1968 [LBI]: “A U.S. National Parks vessel, the Cougar, rescued four boaters from Anacapa Island, where their 18-foot craft broke up on the rocks. A party of 25 other boaters, stranded on the island by high winds and turbulent seas in the Santa Barbara channel which marred their Sunday outing, made the return journey on Monday morning in calmer weather after camping overnight.”


April 14, 1970 [Desert Sun]: “High winds wreak havoc. Ventura — Gale force winds kicking up sea swells of 15 feet, ripped boats from their moorings Monday, including a 465-foot former cruise ship, and stranded boatmen off the Southern California coast. As winds gusts up to 60 knots an hour continued through the night, Coast Guard officials were still receiving reports of boats being washed ashore or carried out to sea. The 465-foot vessel La Janelle was blown aground near the entrance to the Channel Islands Harbor Marine with two persons aboard. The ship, anchored a half-mile off the Marina near Port Hueneme, tipped over in the huge breakers after a Navy helicopter lifted the two men to safety... Meanwhile the search for a Superior Court judge and prominent attorney missing since Saturday and presumed drowned continued off Anacapa Island. Judge Philip West and Hugh Gallagher were last seen in life jackets after West's 21-foot sailboat Rosamondbroke up on the rocks off the island 11 miles from the mainland...”


May 10, 1971 [Desert Sun]: “Long Beach. Two Coast Guard helicopters were searching the waters off Anacapa and Santa Cruz Islands today for two missing fishing boats with a total of seven persons aboard. Mrs. Joyce Owens of Oxnard reported her husband and son departed from Channel Islands Harbor Sunday and failed to return aboard their 17-foot vessel. David Delorie, 16, of Goleta, left Santa Barbara Friday aboard the 30-foot vessel The Trojan with a crew of four on a diving expedition. They were reported overdue late Sunday.”


December 05, 1988 [LAT]: “Man Killed in Boating Crash; 2 Saved From Cliff. One Orange County man died and another was seriously injured when a boat crashed into rocks near Avalon Harbor on Santa Catalina Island, authorities said Sunday. To the north, in the waters off Ventura County, national park service rangers rescued two men after their kayak smashed into a large rock near Anacapa Island and sank. Details of the Santa Catalina accident remained sketchy a day later, but Los Angeles County sheriff's investigators said the victims were part of a small group that had left Newport Beach on Saturday morning for a day of "fun and fishing" near the island. Alcohol was consumed by adults on board the power boat during the day, authorities said. At about 6 p.m. Saturday, the fishermen decided to return to the mainland when the boat crashed in Lover's Cove. William Golfe, 40, of Newport Beach, was hurled overboard, striking his head on rocks, the Los Angeles County coroner's office said. He was pronounced dead at St. Mary Medical Center in Long Beach. Sean Caudillo, 22, of Newport Beach, was in serious condition at the hospital. At least two other people on the boat were treated for minor injuries. They were not identified.

In the Anacapa incident, park rangers maneuvered a small boat between razor-sharp rocks early Sunday to rescue the two men who clung to a cliff wall for eight hours after their kayak smashed against Arch Rock and sank. The rescuers found the men on the eastern tip of the island about 12:15 a.m., Channel Islands National Park Ranger Steve James said. The Coast Guard and park rangers circled the island in a helicopter and boats after friends reported that Thomas Buckley, 30, of Fountain Valley and John Zapinski, 30, of Long Beach, had failed to return to their island campsite at 3:30 p.m., Coast Guard Petty Officer Clifford Hohl said. Authorities used spotlights and searched for several hours without finding any sign of the men. Rescuers were minutes away from leaving when rangers spotted wreckage from the 17-foot canvas kayak inside Arch Rock--a picturesque span made famous in postcards and photographs. "It was pitch black. You could hear them, but you couldn't see them. It was just by the grace of God that it was calm enough for us to get back in," James said. Rescuers helped Buckley and Zapinski climb down a 10-foot cliff covered with "razor-sharp" barnacles and mussels, James said. Both had cuts and mild hypothermia. They were treated at St. John's Regional Medical Center in Oxnard and released, officials said.”


July 29, 1989 [LAT]: “5 Rescued After Their Sailboat Sinks. ANACAPA ISLAND, Calif. — A sailboat ran aground and sank Friday off Anacapa Island, but the crew managed to call for help before sinking and all five people aboard were rescued, the Coast Guard reported. "It was pretty dramatic," Petty Officer Dennis Hull said. "They put out a Mayday, gave their position, and told us what was happening. Then the radio went dead." A National Park Service boat arrived quickly on the scene, just west of Anacapa Island, part of the Channel Islands National Park, and plucked three people out of the ocean, Hull said. "They were in the (60-degree) water 10 or 15 minutes," Hull said. "Any longer, and we would have had a disaster." The other two people swam to rocks on Anacapa Island, where they were rescued by a Coast Guard patrol boat.”


April 24, 1990 [LAT]: “ A Granada Hills man who was rescued with his brother after their boat sank off the coast of Oxnard said Monday he almost killed himself to end his suffering after more than two hours in frigid water. Gary DeGraffenreid, 32, said only the thought of his two children kept him from committing suicide after the 19-foot motorboat sank at 7:40 a.m. Saturday-dumping him and his brother, Daryl, 30, into 62-degree water. "I just thought that when I went under the next swell I would let out my air and kill myself and put myself out of my misery," said DeGraffenreid, a trouble-shooter with the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power. "But as I went under, I thought about my kids and how I always tell them, `Don't ever give up.' "He was rescued about 20 minutes later-just after 10 a.m.-by a Simi Valley family out for a day's pleasure cruise aboard the Kazi Okakaru, a 27-foot sailboat. Daryl DeGraffenreid of Sepulveda, who had set off earlier to swim three miles to Anacapa Island for help, was spotted and rescued by the sailboat 10 minutes after his brother was lifted on board. He had only managed to swim about a quarter of a mile. Before he was rescued, he said, between 15 and 20 seals kept him company, with one baby seal swimming nearest him. The seals may have served to shield him from sharks that he said circled about 5 feet below. "I was on my way, half way up to the golden gates," said Daryl DeGraffenreid, who added that he, too, concentrated on his family to keep his mind off the apparent hopelessness of the situation. "It was really cold," said Mary Wilson, 28, a passenger on the Kazi Okakaru'. "I can't believe they stayed alive that long." Gary DeGraffenreid suffered from slight hypothermia. Daryl DeGraffenreid suffered from hypothermia and shock. After they were radioed about the situation, a National Park Service ranger patrolling Anacapa Island by boat met the sailboat and administered first aid to the brothers before the Coast Guard transported them back to Oxnard. Daryl DeGraffenreid, a medical technician, was taken to St. John's Regional Medical Center where he was treated. He was released later that day. His brother required no treatment and was not taken to a hospital. The brothers had left Channel Islands Harbor in Oxnard at 7 a.m. Saturday for what they hoped would be a leisurely fishing trip. It was the first time they had braved the ocean on their own rather than fishing from a chartered boat. They were about nine miles off the coast and three miles from Anacapa Island when the boat's engine broke down. By the time the engine stopped, 4-foot waves were crashing into the boat. The brothers said later they realized that the boat was taking on so much water that it would capsize. But Gary DeGraffenreid said he thought it would flip over but stay afloat, advertising their predicament to passing vessels and providing them something to hang onto. The brothers said they managed to grab flares and flotation cushions and wrap water-ski vests around themselves before the $22,000 boat sank. They set off two of the three flares as boats passed but were unable to attract attention, they said. One flare was a dud. After a ninth boat passed, Daryl DeGraffenreid decided he would try to swim to Anacapa Island, about three miles away. Gary stayed where he was because he did not think he could swim that far in the cold. "I was shivering the whole time," Gary said. "After about an hour, I couldn't feel my legs anymore." The ski vest and down jacket he was wearing became saturated with water and started to weigh him down, he said. As the flotation cushions soaked up water, he said, they dipped about 3 feet below the surface, forcing him to kneel on them to keep his head above water."I knew things were getting pretty bleak," Gary DeGraffenreid said. As he struggled for breath, he caught sight of the sailboat and screamed frantically for help. He managed to raise his numb arms above water in a last-ditch effort to be seen. Sailboat passenger Lonna Starck, 38, saw him as she was looking out a window while in the boat's galley getting chips and dip. It took four people to lift Gary's limp body over the side of the boat, Wilson said. Once aboard, she said, he was swathed in warm blankets and given a cigarette, after one of the women noticed that he had a soaked pack in his pocket. "I owe them everything," Gary DeGraffenreid said of his rescuers. Despite their ordeal, the brothers say they will continue to fish in the Pacific. But Gary said he no longer feels the same kinship to the ocean. "I always said, `If I die, I want to die in the ocean,"' he said. "I don't say that anymore."”


December 8, 1995 [LAT]: “Two men were rescued from the Pacific Ocean by a passing charter boat after their fishing craft sank Thursday afternoon near Anacapa Island, officials said. Chad Nichols of Oxnard and William Mays of Pacoima went into the water about 12:45 p.m. after their 21-foot boat took on too much water in heavy seas. Before the craft sank, Nichols managed to send a distress signal, which was picked up by the charter boat. The men were picked up after about five minutes in the water, Coast Guard officials said. "When we went into the water, that's when we started thinking this could be it," said Nichols, the owner of the boat. "We are just glad to be back." The two men were taken to Anacapa Island, where a Coast Guard boat took them to Channel Islands Harbor. They were met by Nichols' wife and 2 1/2-year-old daughter. "You could have at least gotten me a halibut while you were out there," joked Nichols' wife Jaimen Nichols.”