Chicago, IL Excursion Steamer FAVORITE Capsizes, Jul 1927
Rotten straps on life preservers comprised one of the first discoveries by Coroner WOLFF in an inspection of the boat today. The craft had been raised and towed in. One life preserver bore a date of 1910 and a 1927 inspection stamp.
Federal inspectors, the state's attorney, the coroner and the police launched a quadruple inquiry as divers and harbor craft continued to drag the waters in search of other bodies.
Approximately 75 persons were aboard the steamer.
The coroner asked a number of licensed skippers, prominent men of experience on the lakes, to sit on the jury.
State's Attorney CROWE directed his assistants to open an inquiry at once. After questioning a number of persons, W. A. RITTENHOUSE, assistant state's attorney announced that no evidence of any violation of law had been uncovered.
FRED MENO, representing the federal steamboat inspection service, with local inspectors began an inspection of the "Favorite." He said the steamer was last inspected July 11.
The coroner, in addition to finding some life belts with straps which he tore with ease, said some of the life preservers apparently were not easily accessible.
Although the authorities were without information as to the exact number of persons aboard and no authentic list of missing persons was reported, search of the lake waters went ahead today without finding other bodies.
Captain OLSON'S statement before the state's assistant attorney's assistants follows:
Q -- Did you have your boat loaded with passengers when you left the pier? A -- Yes.
Q -- Before leaving is it customary for a government inspector to look over your list of passengers so you will not overload? A -- There are government inspectors on Sundays and holidays and evenings during the busy hours, but in the day we are not inspected.
Q -- How many passengers did you have on the boat? A -- About sixty.
Q -- How many life preservers is your boat equipped with? A -- One hundred and seventy-six.
Q -- Where were the life preservers? A -- They were up overhead against the ceiling of the upper and lower decks.
Q -- And where were the two raft boats situated? A -- One on the lower deck and one on the boat deck.
Q -- Now when the squall started blowing, it did not capsize your boat at once did it? A -- Yes, the minute she hit it went. And furthermore, it was raining and the people rushed from the starboard side to the port and that helped to turn the boat over.
Decatur Review Illinois 1927-07-29