|Meanwhile at the Pier Avenue Pier in Long Beach...
Girl Is Seized By Devilfish —
Fishermen Rescue Bather From Octopus —
Man Armed With Cleaver is Lowered from Pier and Severs Tentacles of Huge Denizen of Deep
Long Beach, Oct. 1.’Fishermen at the end of the pier related a thrilling story today of the rescue of a fair bather who had been seized by an octopus. While swimming near the end of the pier, they said, the young woman was heard to scream. Rushing to the edge of the wharf, the men ascertained that a giant devilfish had wrapped a tentacle around one of her limbs. The devilfish also had a firm grasp upon a piling of the pier with another tentacle.
E. B. Counts, the typical fisherman who presides over the destinies of a pier market, tied a rope about the waist of Clarence Owen, one of the market owners, and lowered him to the surface of the water. Owen was armed with a cleaver, and he chopped the tentacle in two which was wrapped around the piling. He then picked the young woman up out of the water, severing another tentacle of the octopus as he did so. The devilfish, which had emitted a flood of inky liquid, then sank to the bottom, and Owen carried the rescued bather to the deck of the pier. The devilfish is believed to have measured six feet from tip to tip.
Counts said the girl’s name was Ethel Seymour. He said he could not give her address but said she had on a bath house bathing suit. He described her as a “Purty gal who had a lot of nerve.” At the bath house it was stated that no report of her trouble had been made by the young woman, if she had been a patron there.
“It’s a wonder the octopus didn’t drag her down,” said Counts. “She treaded water and then grabbed hold of a piling, or she would have been a goner.” Miss Seymour could not be located this evening, and is supposed to have been a visitor here for the day.
—Los Angeles Herald, October 2, 1909
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