WESTBROOK, Samuel (c. 1881-1919), captain of the fishing launches Queen and Arrow, who drowned at Seal Rocks, Santa Catalina Island when he fell overboard from the Arrow.
In the News~
June 30, 1919 -San Pedro Daily News]: “News of the death by drowning of Samuel Westbrook, formerly employed in a Sixth Street electrical shop here, at Santa Catalina last Thursday was received here this morning by Jack Walsworth in a letter from Mrs. Westbrook. The accident occurred at Seal Rock where Mr. Westbrook was demonstrating his launch Arrow to prospective buyers. There were three men on board the launch. Mr. Westbrook and one of the buyers on the bow when a sudden list of the vessel threw them overboard. The third man not knowing how to handle the launch was unable to reach the two men struggling in the water. The two started to swim for the land as it was nearer than the launch. Mr. Westbrook failed to stem the strong current and went down. Efforts to find the body have not ceased. So far efforts have proven without avail.”
July 1, 1919 [San Pedro News Pilot]: “Carl Metcalf of the customs office today received a letter from Mrs. Sam Westbrook stating that every effort was being made to recover the body of her husband, who was drowned off Seal Rocks, Catalina Island, last Thursday. Capt. Westbrook was 38 years old and formerly employed by the San Pedro Electric Company, and was well known here. He was the owner of the fishing launches Queen and Arrow and had a prospective customer for the Arrow out when the accident occurred. Capt. Westbrook climbed the mast to disentangle the flag, which had become fouled, and in so doing the craft capsized, partially filling with water. He struck out for shore some 30 yards distant, but was evidently taken with cramps and before assistance could reach him from the boat he disappeared in the surging undertow.”