Quincy, FL Fishing Boat Tragedy, Aug 1962
17 NEGRO CHILDREN DROWN WHEN SMALL BOAT SINKS.
ONE ADULT ALSO KILLED.
Quincy, Fla. (UPI) -- A 16-foot fishing boat jammed with Negro children off on a church picnic swamped under the heavy load Saturday and 18 of the 19 persons aboard drowned.
All but one of the victims were children.
The lone survivor was 11-year-old JEROME MAPLES, who was saved by a fisherman who managed to push a cane pole within the boy's reach.
The only adult aboard was JOSEPH BOUIE, 25, who was operating the small motor that drove the small, green, flat-bottom boat.
Witnesses said the boat had just left Jessie's Landing on nearby Lake Talquin when the heavily-loaded vessel started filling with water in the stern.
BOUIE raced the motor in hopes of raising the craft in the water, witnesses said, but instead it caused the water to rush forward and the boat went under.
"It was panic that got them," said highway patrolman Joe Ross of Liberty County.
"The boat was floating right beside where they went down. All they would have had to do was reach out and grab it," he said.
The boat went down about 100 yards off shore. Ross said the water was only about seven feet deep at that point, "just over my head."
One family -- that of MATTIE MAE WATSON -- lost
seven children, ranging in age from 5 to 14, in the tragedy.
Another family lost four children and still another family lost two.
The Times Recorder Zanesville Ohio 1962-08-17
Researched and Transcribed by Stu Beitler. Thank you, Stu!