Early in 1924 an abandoned trawler, the SS Fremont crashed into the rocks near Ano Nuevo Island–arousing the curiosity of the alcohol police, as well as the locals, of course.
Just like the table talk at Duarte’s Tavern today, the Pescaderans debated the stranded boat’s destination. There were many opinions.
Some folks blamed it on the heavy seas that accounted for both the missing crew and their liquid cargo. Rumors circulated that this was not the first rumrunning disaster in the exact location. There had been a string of “disasters” in the exact same treacherous part of the South Coast.
An intensive search for the SS Fremont’s owners turned up the captain who was anxious to talk about his experience. The Fremont was a rumrunning vessel, he said, and it struck the invisible reefs when he mistook the light on “Mile Rock” [which signaled the westward turn into the Golden Gate.] The boat’s captain also revealed that everybody on board got away by swimming to shore– except for one crew member who drowned in the surf.