..."I didn't even get wet -- at first" ...
Charles Agnastoklio (Agnos) recalled the gaiety and anticipation of a cruise to Michigan City and a picnic. Panic and mass death took hold just minutes later as the Eastland tipped over while still tied to the wharf in Chicago. His recollection:
"I was one of the first to board. The boat was top-heavy. The people who were down below didn't have a chance to get out. Everybody was screaming, pushing and running over everything. I was on deck and able to climb to the top of the boat when it tipped over. The top remained above water. I didn't even get wet - at first."
"Suddenly, I was hit by scrambling people and dumped into the river. I drank that Chicago river water and - ooohhh - it was bad. Those of us who drank the water were treated for possible diseases with shots. I found my way out of the ship by vents, passageways, and I don't know what all."
When asked why he felt that the Eastland was overloaded, Charles replied, "The excursion company was too hungry for business."