Earl Clifford Ketch died attempting to save Florence L. Conrad from drowning, Vanceboro, Maine, July 9, 1924. Miss Conrad, 19, jumped from a pier 70 feet from the shore of Spednic Lake into water 10 feet deep and did not rise immediately. When she came up, Ketch, 31, brakeman, slid from the pier into the water close to her and facing her. He was a good swimmer but did not make progress with her toward the pier or shore, and the only witness on shore went for a boat. Just before the boat reached them, they sank, holding to each other. Both were drowned. 24403-1982
24403 – 198224403-1982
The people of Vanceboro, Maine, were saddened July 9, 1924, when the news reached them of the death by drowning of two of the town’s young people, Miss Florence Conrad and Earl Ketch.
Miss Conrad, who was an expert swimmer, dove off the pier by the ice house, and when she failed to appear, Mr. Ketch jumped to her rescue, only to lose his life in the attempt. It is thought that the young man’s heart played out, but he died a hero, pushing Miss Conrad toward shore as he went down for the last time. Miss Conrad went down twice after that, and at last sank, lifeless, for the third and last time. The bodies were recovered later. The disaster was witnessed by H.J. Crandlemire and H.J. Galison, who attempted to save them, but failed.
Miss Conrad was a very popular young lady. She had been employed at H.W. Vernon’s café in town, and was expecting to take a position in Bangor, Maine, shortly.
Mr. Ketch was a popular young man; he was switchman for the Maine Central railroad on the second track yard engine here. He was a member of the Vanceboro band. He was born on Nov. 11, 1895, in Medford, Wis.
(Edited from a story in an unidentified newspaper that was provided by a family descendant, who also provided Ketch’s birthdate.)