Wild Panic On A Leaking Boat

Two Hundred Reading Excursionists in Extreme Peril for A Time on Schuylkill River

Special to the Inquirer

Reading, PA. Aug. 21. The lives of 200 people were in peril for a time on the Schuylkill River at an early hour this morning. They comprised a steamboat excursion given under teh auspices of Class No. 13, fo St. Andrews's Reformed Sunday School.

The party this city early last evening for Birdsboro in a steamboat. Ater spending a short time at the place the return trip was made around midnight.

Everything went well until about a mile below Reading when Captain John A. Hiester discovered that the boat had sprung a leak. The water was coming in rapidly. When it became known among the passengers that was a panic. Women fainted.

Cooler heads prevented a stampede for the sides of the boat, and with rare presence of mind, Captain Hiester turned on full steam and steered straight for a sand bank. The boat was beached and the passengers were taken off by another boat.1

  • 1. Philadelphia Inquirer, 08/22/1902