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Helen C. Parker Frease
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Birth: 1904
Marin County
California, USA
Death: Dec. 18, 1930
Marin County
California, USA

Search for 8 Sea Victims Goes On as Body is Found

A tradition of 18 years, during which the treacherous waters at the mouth of Tomales bay have never given up its victims, was broken today with the finding of the body of one of the nine persons drowned Thursday night.

The body, identified as that of Mrs. Helen Frease, 26, wife of Jack Frease, 35, Marshall contractor, who also lost his life, was cast up on Dillon's beach almost at the feet of Mrs. Annie Giambra, cousin of the woman.

Mrs. Frease, too, would have found a grave in the sea with the other eight victims, if she had not been dead upon striking the water, in the opinion of veteran fisherman on Dillon's bay.

Her skull had been fractured, evidently in contact with rocks that rib the bay, and she is believed to have died a moment before the waves closed over her. This fact, the fisherman declared, prevented water from entering her lungs and permitted her body to float.

As for the other eight victims - three men, a 13 year old boy and four women - the breakers pounding on the rocks will probably continue to be their only funeral dirge, Tomales beach residents agreed.

In 18 years Tomales bay has never before cast up the bodies of any of its victims, they pointed out.

Nearly a score of volunteer searchers, however, continued today to patrol the beach in the hope that some of the victims may be sighted and their bodies recovered by boats.

Death of the others is considered certain. Those aboard the 25-foot fishing boat when it capsized and sank, in addition to Mrs. Helen Frease and her husband, Jack, were Mrs. Mary Frease, wife of George Frease, Point Reyes rancher; Manuel Augustine, 55, rancher, Mrs. Caroline Augustine, his wife; Gertrude Augustine, 16, a daughter; Virginia Augustine 17, another daughter; Daniel Augustine, 13, a son, and Tony Alfonso, a neighboring rancher.

The bow-board of the Helen, 26-foot fishing boat in which the two families and Alfonso had gone to find abalone, was found a mile and a half north of Dillon's beach. It was identified at Marshall by Angelo Frease, father of Jack Frease. "I carved it myself," he said. "It was a good boat, and would never have gone down if the engine hadn't failed."

Ornburn and Grant Gray of Woodland, young brothers, who attempted to rescue the victims in a small power skiff, which overturned at the same time as the Helen, are recovering from their experience in a Petaluma hospital.

Ornburn sustained three fractured ribs in an effort to swim ashore with one of the women, when a wave smashed him against the rocks. His brother suffered greatly from submersion.

The Frease and Augustine families lived for years in the villages of Marshall and Marconi.

Published Oakland Tribune
December 20, 1930

Dillon's Beach 38.250374, -122.968167

Sea Tragedy Children Aided
Two orphans, Jackie, 7 and Lorraine, 6, children of Jack Frease and his wife, Helen, who lost their lives in Thursday's disaster in Tomales bay, will find new homes with grandparents, it was stated today.

Mrs. Josephine Parker, of Santa Rosa, mother of Mrs. Frease, who hurried from her home on receipt of the news of the wreck of the launch Helen, will take charge of little Lorraine at her home.

Jackie will live with his paternal grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Angelo Frease, of Marshall.

The funeral of Mrs. Frease will be held at Marshall tomorrow.

Dr. J.K. Kuser, autopsy surgeon of Marin county, found that Mrs. Frease, whose body so far has been the only one washed ashore, died from drowning and not, as had been supposed, from injuries received when she struck the rocks amid which the wrecked launch tossed.

Inspection of the launch after it had been found and towed into Bodega bay revealed that the disaster was caused by terrific pounding waves after the vessel's engine failed her, and not by capsizing, as a shotgun and several shells were still lying on the waterlogged deck when the launch was found.

Published Oakland Tribune
December 21, 1930 
Family links: 
  Jack Frease (1909 - 1930)
Miwok Cemetery
Marin County
California, USA
Created by: Colletta
Record added: Jun 04, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 91344691
Helen C. <i>Parker</i> Frease
Added by: Colletta
Helen C. <i>Parker</i> Frease
Added by: Colletta
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- Chelsea
 Added: Jul. 27, 2013

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