Winnetkan drowns, rescue companions: four New Trier High School graduates thrown in lake when catboat overturns
Wilmette Life (Wilmette, Illinois), 31 Aug 1928, p. 6

Full Text

Fred Rummler, 21, son of E. A. Rummler, 1015 Starr road, Winnetka, was drowned in Lake Michigan about three miles off the Winnetka shore Tuesday morning after clinging desperately during the night to an overturned catboat in which he and three companions had sailed out of Wilmette harbor Monday night. His three friends were rescued about 1 o'clock Tuesday afternoon by Evanston coast guards.

Marjory Oleson, 17, of 240 Woodstock avenue, Kenilworth, daughter of John P. Oleson, vice-president of the First National bank of Chicago, was rescued about half a mile from the boat after she had sunk once. She had started to swim to shore.

Cling to Boat 15 Hours
The two other members of the party, Shirley Conlee, 18, daughter of H. E. Conlee, of 627 West Kenilworth road, Kenilworth, and Harold Tarrant, 20, son of J. H. Tarrant, of 944 Westmoor road, Winnetka, were still clinging to the little craft after fifteen hours when the rescuers found them. They were near exhaustion.

The party of four rented a sixteen-foot catboat from the Buccaneer's club in Wilmette harbor Monday night. They had gone about three miles when a sudden gust of wind struck the boat, overturned it, and threw out its occupants. All were good swimmers, and after pulling themselves up they clung to the little craft, confident that a passing boat could be hailed to pick them up. Their efforts to attract the attention of excursion steamers which passed nearby during the night were unsuccessful.

Rummler a Hero
The three survivors of the accident declare that Rummler was the real hero during the long night hours, as it was he who cheered them up and attempted to make light of the suitation [sic]. It was about 9 o'clock in the morning, as near as Tarrant and the girls could tell, when Rummler lost his hold on the boat and rolled off into the water. Tarrant dived for him and brought him up. Two more times Rummler slipped into the water, and Tarrant's third attempt to rescue him was unsuccessful, as he was too weak to lift the body.

Rummler was graduated from New Trier Township High school in 1827 and had spent one year at Cornell university. The three survivors were also New Trier graduates of the class of 1928.

Girl in Hospital
The two girls were taken to the Evanston hospital greatly exhausted but not in critical condition. Tarrant was also exhausted but was able to give the details of the accident to police and other officials.

In addition to the Evanston coast guard, the Chicago coast guard and two seaplanes from the Great Lakes Naval Training station took part in the search for the missing party. Paul Helman, in charge of the coast guard boat that brought the survivors ashore, was assisted by W. T. Owens and C. D. Lindstrom.

Media Type:
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Date of Publication:
31 Aug 1928
Personal Name(s):
Conlee, H. E. ; Conlee, Shirley ; Helman, Paul ; Lindstrom, C. D. ; Oleson, John ; Oleson, Marjory ; Owens, W. T. ; Rummler, E. A. ; Rummler, Fred ; Tarrant, Harold ; Tarrant, J. H.
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  • Illinois, United States
    Latitude: 42.07225 Longitude: -87.72284
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Copyright status unknown. Responsibility for determining the copyright status and any use rests exclusively with the user.
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Winnetkan drowns, rescue companions: four New Trier High School graduates thrown in lake when catboat overturns