A 1946 Report on Drownings



Report of Study and Findings of Thirty-Six Drownings in Harvey’s Lake and Susquehanna River


A Century of Drownings at Harvey's Lake 1863 - 1963
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Dr. Benjamin S. Davis (1893-1948) was born in Plymouth, PA.  He attended Plymouth High School, Pennsylvania State College, and received his medical degree from Jefferson Medical College, Philadelphia, in 1917. 

He practiced medicine in Plymouth and was an active and generous contributor in his home town as Plymouth’s health officer and medical advisor to the Plymouth High School football team.  He died in October 1948.

"Report of Study and Findings of Thirty-Six Drownings in Harvey’s Lake and Susquehanna River"

2. Preparing for a Drowning

Most drownings are accidental such as swimming in dangerous places, unable to swim, improper handling of a boat or float, falling from piers, alcoholism, children getting away from those appointed to watch them, and over-exertion.

The danger spots at Harvey’s Lake are marked with floating buoys but these are removed or destroyed. Why persons insist on doing this I do not know. The Harvey’s Lake Protective Association has maintained a trained squad in First Aid and rescue work headed by Chief of Police Swanson [Fred] and is fully equipped with floating rafts, electric power, deep water lights, ropes, grappling hooks, boats, pulmotors, electric telescope and medicines. 

The Chief is available all the year round at police headquarters. Five stretchers are placed about the lake where station wagons are available maintaining immediate ambulance service. On receiving a report of a drowning the police, physicians and trained men proceed to the area of report.

The Plymouth Police also are equipped with all needed material and are under the leadership of Chief Kendig. They have been trained in rescue and first aid work and maintain an up to date ambulance equipped with the latest resuscitator and two pulmotors.

Published March 30, 1946 Used by permission.

Copyright 2006-2007 F. Charles Petrillo