Clarendon, AR Boat Explosion, May 1908


Society People Aboard Launch Perish by Drowning in Arkansas.

Clarendon, Ark., -- Seven prominent young society people were drowned when the gasoline tank of a launch in which they were going for a moonlight excursion exploded. Other members of the party were rescued with difficulty. One of those rescued, Miss Mary Cavett of Clarendon was badly burned. Details of the tragedy are meager. The boat left Clarendon early in the evening, bearing a merry party , who had planned to go several miles down the river. When about five miles below Clarendon the boiler of the launch exploded, wrecking the boat and hurling the occupants into the river, which at this point more than 50 feet from shore, is very deep. Few could swim, and some were stunned by the force of the explosion and went down before swimmers in the party could make an effort at rescue. The survivors were found on the river bank by runners dispatched from here because of the prolonged absence of the party.

The Stevens Point Journal, Stevens Point, WI 30 May 1908