FOUR YOUNG HEROES.
New Zealand Tablet, Volume VI, Issue 295, 27 December 1878, Page 5
FOUR YOUNG HEROES.
Few persons in New York are aware of the existence there of a juvenile association, the real objects of which are manifested in acts of personal bravery and humanity. Least of all, would they suppose that such an organization could be found in what are called the " slums "of the Fourth Wai-d. For nearly four months two young men and two boys have carried on what they called the New York Amateur Life-Saving Association. They have formed their association and elected a President and Vice- President. They do not need a Treasurer, and one of them acts as Secietary, his services in that respect being confined to the making of entries in the "record- book." These young men are William O'Neill, 23 years of age, residing at No. C 2. Cherry-street; Gilbert Long, age 20, "of No. 18. Cherry-street; Edward Kelly, aged IG, of No. 18, Cherry-street, and Patrick Marr, ago 10, of No. 7, Oak-street. O'Neill is an overgrown boy in appearance, and hat been kno;m as " Nan the Newsboy," since he was sis years old. He sells papers and blackens boots on the Sylvan Line of Harlem steamers, aiding in the support of a widowed mother. He has saved fourteen lives within the last two years, three being placed to bis credit recently. Long is a tinker, employed in a shop in Burling Slip : Kelly works in a Gold-street leather manufactory, and little " Patsey " Marr is learning the painter's trade at a paint shop in Peck Slip. Long has already saved four persons from drowning in the river ; Kelly has saved two persons, and " Patsey " has rescued one. All are expert swimmers aud divers, arid a similarity of tastes and ambition probably led them into each other's company. Nearly every night in the week these four brave volunteers meet at 7.30 o'clock on the Dover-street pier. Starting thence, O'Neill takes either Marr or Kelly with him, and patrols the South-street dock front down as far as the South Ferry or the Battery sea wall. Long, and the remaining patrolman, go in the northerly direction, and give their atteution to the river front as far up as '• the Hook," a little below Grand-street Ferry. They have scraped together money enough to b iy two life-lines of slender, well-spun, hempen rope, each about 100 feet long, and provided with a cross-bar of wood, to which a person in the water may readily cling, and which also aids by its weight in the throwing of the line. They remain on patrol usually from two to three hours, always meeting again at the Dover-street pier and reporting the occurrences of the night. Their plan of rendering assistance is to allow one to plunge into the river when aid is needed, while the other remains on the pier and aids the rescued and the rescuer with the life-line in getting out of the water. A part of their patrol duty consists in practising in the throwing of their lifeline — aiming to throw it accurately to objects in the water. At present they say they need several articles of equipment, such as a lifebuoy or two, and eventually they hope to be able to get rubber caps and capes to wear on rainy nights. These young heroes seem to feel some sort of contempt for men who need boats to save life, because they say that many persons have been drowned while others have been running around for oars to go to the drowning person's assistance. They would be willing to have a boat themselves, however, merely because they would always have it ready for use, and they could patrol their respective distances in front of the piers, see greater distances, be more easily summoned, and could go over their patrol posts three times where they now do it once. Their method of saving a person, however, is to go into the water after them, and support them. They will endeavour to have a boat by nest summer, but will continue their foot patrols meantime. O'Neill is trying to get an appointment from the Government on one of the life-saving stations on the coast. — 2V. Y. Times.