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The Whitehorse Star

September 11, 1936

Drowning Fatality Occurs at Carmacks Wnen Canoe Upsets in Yukon River - Police Constable Drowns While Telegrapher Has Narrow Escape

  CARMACKS, Sept. 8 - (Special to The Star) - Starting a short trip down the Yukon River in a canoe at 6 p.m. Monday, Constable J. P. Hartnett, R.C.M.P. officer at Carmacks, and A. R. Hayes, government telegraph operator at that point, had only traveled a short distance when, without warning, the canoe capsized, throwing both men into the swiftly running water. At the time Hartnett was in the stern paddling while Hayes, who had no paddle, was in the bow of the craft.
  As the capsized canoe floated helplessly down the river, Frank Zimmer saw the upturned craft pass his cabin with Hayes hanging alongside. A few minutes previous an Indian farther up the river saw Hartnett let go his hold of the canoe and sink for the third time and disappear.
  On seeing the plight of Hayes, Zimmer rushed out to the upturned canoe in his boat and found Hayes unconscious. Unable to lift the drowning man into his boat, Zimmer managed to drag him ashore, where artificial respiration was applied by Frank Goulter, Hayes finally regaining consciousness.
  An immediate search for the body of Constable Hartnett was started but proved to be unsuccessful, no trace of the body being found in the nearby vicinity.
  While Hayes is unable to swim, it is understood that Const. Hartnett was a fairly strong swimmer.


This article is copied in its entirety. Constable John Patrick Hartnett was 28 years old, and was buried at the Police Cemetery at Dawson City - the photo of his grave seen below was taken in the summer of 2002.

Grave of RCMP Constable John Patrick Hartnett

A Watery Grave - Drownings in the Yukon & Alaska

More News from The Whitehorse Star of September 11, 1936

A Guide to the Yukon River