The Evening Tribune September, 1891
Saturday’s Drowning Accident.
The first drowning fatality of the season in this city occurred Saturday afternoon, and the victim was Mr. M. F. Cooper of Grand Rapids. Mr. Cooper arrive on the 2:15 train from Grand Rapids Saturday with a view of spending the afternoon at the Park. He hired a row boat and rowed to the life saving station, and stated his intention of rowing to the Park, but was warned by the crew not to land on the beach. He said he would not and went on his way.
The watchman at the station noticed particularly on account of the danger in a small boat when the sea is rolling heavily. The pier was rounded safely and then he pulled for the shore. When 100 feet from the south pier and about 500 feet from shore his boat was caught in the combers and at once capsized. The watchman notified the crew, who at once hastened to his assistance, but when they arrived (inside of five minutes) he could not be seen.
The surf boat was then launched and a search for his body began. After searching about twenty minutes he was discovered 200 feet from shore, and was immediately taken to shore and all methods of resuscitation were tried. The crew worked over his body about 45 minutes, when Dr. Hofma arrived. The doctor then assisted them, and after working nearly two hours, life was pronounced extinct.
Mr. Cooper was 28 years of age. His parents and brothers are in the ice business in Grand Rapids. The scene of the unfortunate accident was reached by the life saving crew with the greatest possible dispatch, and it due to no fault of theirs that their heroic efforts were not rewarded will a lees unfortunate ending.
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