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Man saved woman in rapid current from falling in to dam

Year 1893

Read by Jennie Peel – Life Governor, Royal Humane Society

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Cumming, W. W., Secretary, Woollen Mill.

About 6.50 p.m. on the 29th May, 1893, three young ladies namely Miss Sheppard, Miss Harcourt and Miss Hardange, were in a boat on the River Trent near Cambellford, Ontario. The strong current carried the boat rapidly down the river towards the dam, where an immense volume of water passes over a boom. Before arriving at this part of the river the boat struck an old railway pier, and as it swung round Miss Hardange managed to jump out on to the pier and thereby saved herself.

The other two ladies in trying to do the same thing upset the boat, and were swept onwards by the rapid current. Miss Sheppard was carried under a bridge and over the dam, and nothing more was seen of her for four days after, when her body was found four miles below.

Miss Harcourt was also carried under the bridge, but just at that moment Mr. Cumming seizing a small rope jumped off the bridge, telling a man to retain the other end of it. The rope, however, parted, and was useless. Mr. Cumming then seized hold of the lady, and both were carried towards the boom, where their death seemed inevitable, but Mr. Cumming fortunately was enabled to cling to a piece of projecting board a few feet above it and supporting the lady until assistance arrived, when both were rescued from their perilous position.

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