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Frank Dickinson, Drowned in the Yukon River, 1921

Drownings in the Yukon & Alaska

Yukon & Alaska Pioneer Biographies

The Weekly Star, Whitehorse, Yukon - Friday, August 12, 1921

    Frank Dickinson, one of the crew of the steamer Casca, lost his life in the icy waters of the Yukon while the boat was about 15 miles south of Minto on her return trip to Whitehorse.

    It appears that on Tuesday morning, August 8th, about 9:45 Mr. Dickinson and another of the crew were working near the large side door just in front of the engine room and that he was leaning out of the doorway with a hose in one hand, washing down the guard rail at the same time holding onto the railing across the door with the other hand. It is thought that his feet slipped and he then let go of the rail and hose, plunging into the river.

    His companion gave the alarm and almost immediately life preservers were thrown to him and in an incredibly short time one of the boats was lowered, but by this time the lad had disappeared under the water. A thorough search was made but no trace of him could be found, it being a well known fact that the Yukon river has some very heavy undertows, which make the immediate recovery of bodies very difficult.

    The unfortunate affair was accidental, and no blame attaches itself to anyone, and great credit is due to the Casca's crew for their prompt and heroic efforts to save their fellow worker.

    Frank Dickinson was 24 years of age, a very likable young man and had many friends, and his loss is sincerely regretted. His mother resides at 69 Jubilee Terrace Clethero, Lancashire, England.

    Following is a very appropriate tribute written by one of the tourist passengers on the Casca just after the accident:

    The four bells tolled, their somber notes
        Were borne upon the air.
    A comrade lost his footing -
        He's gone, we know not where.

    The first mate with his helpers,
        All worked with might and main
    To find their lost companion
        And bring him back again.

    But after fruitless searching
        They had to let him lie
    In Yukon's icy waters
        With just a sad "Good-bye."

    The current, swift and rushing,
        Has claimed a heavy toll;
    It's taken from our number
        A pure and honored soul.

    His earthly toil is ended,
        He sleeps in sweet accord,
    No more to fight life's battles,
        But rest secure in God.

The Weekly Star, Whitehorse, Yukon - Friday, September 23, 1921

    The remains of a man supposed to be that of Frank Dickinson who fell in to the river from the steamer Casca on August 8th, was found by C. W. Marshall in a slough below Beaton's wood camp and was taken to Dawson on the steamer Dawson last trip. The upper portion of the body is missing but the clothing which still remains may aid in establishing identity. Coroner Telford viewed the remains and decided that an inquest was unnecessary.

    Frank N. Dickinson was buried in the Hillside Old Public Cemetery in Dawson.