Captain Dan Donovan


...descended into the hull of death...

Dan Donovan was the first diver to reach the Eastland when it turned over in the river at the Clark Street bridge. His work will long be remembered. At that time he was called upon to open up the various state rooms to remove those drowned, and from which escape was impossible until the doors were battered by axe or saw. Many men less in years were unable to stand the gruesome sights met with on that occasion and time after time when they would give up the task, Dan Donovan would don the diving suit and descend into the hull of death to continue the search until all parts of the ship were explored and the last body removed.

Captain Dan Donovan at the time was employed by the City of Chicago as city diver. While submerged in the river he became tangled in the wreckage. Wire and rope caught his feet, yet he managed to keep his air tube free for the five minutes it took to extricate himself.

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