...gave his life in the effort to save others...
Peter Boyle was a 26-year-old immigrant from Ireland and lived at 110 E. Illinois Street in Chicago. He was a lookout on the steamer Petoskey, one of the five boats the Indiana Transportation Company hired the Petoskey as one of the five boats to carry Western Electric excursionists to Michigan City, Indiana. Boyle drowned while attempting to rescue a woman who was thrown into the Chicago River when the Eastland capsized.
When the Eastland began to list, the officers and crew of the Petoskey got uneasy, and they jumped into their lifeboats and lowered them. They were one of the first to get lifeboats into the drifting mass of people whom they pulled out of the Chicago River as fast as they could reach them and get them into the boat.
According to officers of the Petoskey, Peter dove from one of the lifeboats while it was being lowered and was still about 15 feet from the water. He did not come to the surface. It is not known whether he was clutched by one of the victims and held beneath the surface or was stunned by striking some object.
Captain Walter Petrosky and his associates were much affected by the death of "Lookout Boyle," who gave his life in the effort to save others.
Of the 844 who died in the Eastland Disaster, Peter Boyle was the only victim not aboard the Eastland when it capsized.
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reprinted with permission of South Haven Tribune
See also Man of Aran by Bernard J. Byrne.