Fort Worth, TX Saved from Drowning, Jul 1913


Oliver Blanke, 16 year old son of Waterworks Commissioner Blanke, was saved from drowning Sunday in the Cleak Fork below Dam No. 4 by an automobile tire inner tube, used as a life preserver.

Young Blanke had gone down twice in a deep pool of water near the dam when the inflated tire was thrown to him. With it he kept afloat until pulled into shallow water.

Commissioner Blanke had taken members of his family with him to the Powell water plant when he visited it Sunday. While he was at the plant they went to the river for a swim.

On July 4 Commissioner Blanke noticed a man swimming in the river with an automobile tire. Sunday he recalled this while worrying about the boys swimming in the river.

“I got to thinking what would happen if one of the party should go down.” he said, “for I cannot swim myself. The I got to thinking about the swimmer I saw July 4, so I went to the car, got an inner tube, blew it up and took it down to them at the river.”

While other members of the party were floating on the inflated tire, young Blanke suddenly went down in the deep water. Commissioner Blanke had not left the bank and rushing into the river shoulder deep got the tire tube and with it reached the boy in the deep water beyond.

He was brought to the shore in an exhausted condition. After he had fully recovered a test was made of the buoyancy of the inner tube and it was found that it would support three persons.

Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Ft. Worth, TX 7 Jul 1913