Jackson Park, IL Life Saving Crew Drowning Rescue, May 1896

Jackson Park Life-Saving Crew Rescues Three Men.

The Jackson Park life-saving crew turned out and rescued Earle Miller and George Lawrence and his son from a perilous position in the lake about a mile off Forty-Third Street yesterday morning.

The party were on board the twenty-five foot yawl rigger Myrna, and had it not been for the timely assistance rendered by the life crew the boat would have sunk.

Lawrence and Miller, who is a naval cadet, started the boat from the foot of Thirty-Ninth Street at about 9 o’clock, intending to take her to Jackson Park. The wind was blowing at the rate of about fifty miles an hour, but the yachtsmen thought they would have no difficulty in reaching the park by keeping in the lee of the land. They had proceeded but a short distance, however, when they found that it was impossible to keep the boat from drifting out in the lake. After battling with the heavy sea for half an hour they came to an anchor and hoisted a signal of distress. Bert Jones, who is station agent for the Illinois Central Railroad at Forty-Third Street, discovered that there was something wrong with the little craft, and he immediately telegraphed to the life-saving stations at Jackson Park and Chicago to come to the assistance of the boat.

Then began an hour of weary waiting for the endangered men on the little boat and every moment the anxious spectators who were lined up on the shore expected to see the boat disappear beneath the waves. The men continued to signal for help to those on shore, but no aid could be given to them, and a sigh of relief was breathed when the life crew from Jackson Park finally hove in sight.

After a great deal of difficulty the men were transferred to the lifeboat and the yawl was taken in tow by a tug, which finally landed it at its destination. The rescued men were thoroughly exhausted and were soaked to the skin by the spray that had dashed over them.

Mrs. Lawrence, wife of George Lawrence, was anxiously watching the little craft from the time it left the dock until towed into Jackson Park, and, although greatly frightened, she bore up bravely under the ordeal.

The life-saving crew from Chicago also answered the summons and arrived on the scene in tow of the tug Robert Tarrant but a few moments after the Jackson Park crew got there. Finding their services not required they returned.

The Myrna was launched Saturday from Bagley’s boat-building works at the foot of Fifth Avenue. Her owner, Mr. Lawrence, intended taking her to Jackson Park the same afternoon, but stopped at Thirty-Ninth Street instead. Her unfortunate experience on her maiden trip does not seem to have injured her in the least.

The Daily Inter Ocean, Chicago, IL 18 May 1896