Alexander Ferguson The Famous Deaf And Dumb Swimmer
Alexander Ferguson, a dock mason of Dundee, (though now in employment at
Irvine), has rescued forty-seven persons from drowning--one paper says
fifty-one--in the Tay, Forth, Clyde, Dee, Tyne, Mersey, Wear, Ayr,
Irwell, Calder, Humber, and other rivers in England, Scotland, and
Ireland. He is thirty-nine years of age, and made his first rescue when
about ten years old. We have before us accounts cut from the newspapers
and other publications, from which we give the following particulars of
some of the rescues and swimming feats:--
At Troon Dock. One Sunday a boy, who was playing with his companions at
the quay, missed his footing, and fell into the harbour. Alexander
Ferguson, observing the occurrence, pulled him out in a very exhausted
condition. A purse of L15 was presented to him.
At Ayr Harbour. A boy named William M'Lean, aged 12 years, fell into the
water and was just disappearing when A. F. leaped into the water and
At Androsan Harbour. A boy named Robert Bodman, aged 10 years. He was
rewarded with the sum of L16 by merchants and gentlemen.
At Llanelly Harbour. A boy named Francis Cornwall, 10 years old.
At Towey Dock. Richard Pearce, 11 years of age.
In the Camperdown Dock, Dundee. Alexander Yule, 10 years of age.
At King William Dock, Dundee. James Anderson, a bricklayer.
At Devonport Dock. A girl named Victoria Napier, 10 years of age.
At Dundee Pier. A boy named Alexander Robertson, 10 years old, for which
he received the rescue medal of the Forth Swimming Club and Humane
At Falmouth Dock. Sarah Armstrong, 11 years of age.
At Lime Dock. Oliver Markham, 7 years old.
At Maldon Dock. A girl named Jessie Brown, 12 years of age.
At Camperdown Dock. Mr. Alexander Doig, merchant of Forfar.
At Swanage Dock. A girl named Catherine Bruce, aged 14 years.
At Portcawl Dock. A boy named Albert Jones.
At Exmouth Dock. A girl named Alexandrina Nelson, 14 years old.
At Victoria Dock. A boy named Charles Blair, 8 years of age.
At Alexandra Dock. Richard Harrison, 8 years old.
At Earl Grey's Dock, Dundee. Peter Band, 8 years of age.
At Teignmouth Dock. Edgar Thorpe, 8 years of age.
At Alnwick Dock. Caesar Franklin, 10 years old.
A brave man. The last official act of the late Mayor of Great Yarmouth
was to present the silver medal of the Humane Society to Alexander
Ferguson, mason, of Dundee, for having saved the life of Charles Cullen,
a private in the 55th Regiment, who fell overboard the steamer "Juno" on
returning to Inverness. Ferguson dived and saved him, but ran great risk
of being drowned, Cullen having fallen under the paddle wheel, which was
Gallant rescue from drowning in the River Mersey, off Garston, near
Liverpool. On Thursday afternoon four young lads had an exceedingly
narrow escape from drowning in the ferry harbour; they were amusing
themselves with a boat, when they overbalanced and fell into the water;
this was noticed by Alexander Ferguson, mason, who was standing on the
jetty, and he, without divesting himself of any of his clothes, swam to
their rescue. Having succeeded in getting hold of three lads, he landed
them ashore, and then struck out for the other, who by this time had
almost disappeared, his hands only being visible above the water.
Ferguson landed him ashore also. After some time all the four were able
to walk home to Liverpool. A large crowd was on the jetty at the time,
and great excitement prevailed. Ferguson deserves great credit for the
courage and presence of mind he displayed, and it is believed that but
for his efforts the lads would have been drowned.--Liverpool Mercury,
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