Huntingdon, PA Juniata River Drowning Rescue, May 1943

Huntingdon Boys Rescued As Boat Overturns Sunday

High School Students Are Thrown From Boat Into Juniata Near Price’s Spring

Four boys who are students at Huntingdon High School are today feeling mighty lucky that they are around to tell the story of their experience in the Junoata (sic) River yesterday afternoon.

Early yesterday, afternoon four boys, Jack SHORT, Fred MCNEAL, Russell REED and Carl SIMPSON, all of Huntingdon, left for a hike to the Warrior Ridge Dam, which is approximately four miles from here. On the return trip, at about 7 o’clock when the gates of the dam are opened to allow the surplus water out, the boys were above Price’s Spring near the Pennsylvania Industrial School when they noticed a boat floating downstream.

Being tired, the boys decided to stop the boat and ride back to town. This they did. Everything was okay until they got in rough water several hundred yards downstream. The boat tipped over and the boys were thrown into the stream. MCNEAL was washed downstream some 50 feet before being rescued by REED. Meanwhile SHORT and SIMPSON managed to climb upon a huge rock at midstream. MCNEAL and REED got back to the rock. SHORT and MCNEAL are seniors at Huntingdon High School, REED is a junior and SIMPSON is a freshman.

The water was too swift to ford and the boys were thus marooned. Several fishermen were nearby on the far side but failed to heed the call of the boys for help.

On the other side, near the railroad tracks, a party of hikers was walking along and heard the call for help. Hurrying back to town the passers-by phoned to Warrior Ridge to have the flow of water slowed. The Huntingdon fire department was also summoned.
The road is impassable on the far side of the river above Price’s Spring and as a result the firemen were unable to make much headway to the scene of the near tragedy. The firemen reached the spot at about 9 o’clock last night.

A rope was tossed across to the marooned foursome and one by one they were brought to dry land. This procedure also took quite a while because of the strong current. The boys returned home cold and wet from head to foot and were none-the-worse for their experience.

Daily News, Huntingdon, PA 10 May 1943