September 12, 1892 – San Pedro – Dense fog, a tricky northeast current and a rocky shore combined to claim the British four-masted bark Golden Horn, when she grounded on the southern coast of Santa Rosa Island.
She was inbound to San Pedro with a cargo of Australian coal consigned to the Southern Pacific Railroad. According to the account of Capt. Dunn, her master, ‘We were sailing through a heavy fog, when the lookout reported land ahead. Every effort was made to get out of the place, but the wind seemed to lull, and before the ship would answer the helm, the bow struck the bottom. Finding it would be impossible to get her off, and the vessel aft sinking rapidly, the men put to the small boats. When we left her she was completely gutted aft, and a heavy sea was breaking over her. In the darkness the coast was not discernible, but was seemingly rocky.’
The crew took to the boats and rowed 50 miles in 20 hours to reach the mainland. Six days after the grounding, the San Francisco Call reported that the ship was “in a very bad condition, fast breaking up and being gutted by the waves. The deck is crowded up and it is a matter of only a few days when the whole ship will be washed away.”
Three days later, the San Francisco Call reported that when the ship was abandoned, “A heavy sea was gutting the cabin and three feet of water was in the hold. The men saved nothing; many are barefoot and coatless, and all are penniless. Captain Dunn says his reckonings were that the ship was, at the time of the wreck, 10 miles away from the south end of Santa Rosa Island, but there was a heavy fog and a high tide.
Dunn has no idea of the value of the ship or the cargo. The ship was insured. A party left in a sloop for the scene of the wreck and will endeavor to save the papers and valuables on the vessel, and report her condition. This morning Captain Dunn telegraphed the British consul at San Pedro about the wreck. The consul will arrive this evening. The crew says the reef of rocks causing the wreck is absent from the ship’s charts. The Golden Horn’s owners, James H. De Wolf & Co., Liverpool, were notified last evening.” (Daily Alta California, San Francisco Call)