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Boy Swimmer Is Drowned In Monongahela
RICES LANDING – The body of a 15-year-old Greene County youth was recovered from beneath a Monongahela River mooring pier at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, almost 12 hours after he drowned swimming with a group of companions at a riverside camping spot between Rices Landing and Crucible.
The victim was James Edward Tate, son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Tate, of Lippencott. He was in the seventh grade at Jefferson-Morgan Junior High School.
One of his companions, 15-year-old Tom Jolliffe, who lives nearby, attempted unsuccessfully to pull Tate from the water after he stepped off a ledge into a deep pool.
The previous day – Thursday – Jolliffe’s older brother, Bill Jalliffe, 17, saved the life of another boy when he got into trouble while swimming in the same place.
The fatal accident happened about 10:30 p.m. Friday. Volunteer firemen from Rices Landing, Crucible, East Bethlehem Township and Clarksville dragged the river without success all night, and Rices Landing’s DUK, an amphibious vehicle, was pressed into service.
Saturday morning, Rices Landing Fire Chief Harold Kline, got a idea to look under a concrete mooring dock which sits about 20 feet from the shore and about eight feet from where Tate went under. He and fellow firemen found the youth’s body caught in the pilings under the pier.
Tom Jolliffee said that the and his brother, Bill, along with Joe Yoders and Richard Yelenik, all of whom live nearby, had gone to the river to camp for the night. About 10:15 p.m. Tate and a friend, Allan Broadwater, of Jefferson, joined them and Tate decided to swim.
“He walked out til he dropped off into the deep pool,” the younger Jolliffe said. “He’d told us he could swim but I saw he was in trouble. I went out and grabbed him but he was struggling and jerked away. He went under and never came back up. He didn’t even holler”
The youth said he was the only one of the boys close enough to even try to save the drowning boy.
Bill Jolliffee said that the previous day John Temple, 16, of Rices Landing, had been swimming in the same place when he started to go under and called for help. Jolliffe happened to be nearby in a row boat and he managed to save him.
James Edward Tate, a son of Robert G. and Pearl Settle Tate, was born September 20, 1947, and resided most of his live at Lippencott. He attended the Mt. Zion Baptist Church.
Surviving besides his parents, are eight brothers and sisters, Florence, wife of Blain Martin, of Rices Landing; Edith, wife of Matthew Basile, of LaBelle; Grace, wife of William Booth, of Takoma Park, Md.; Betty, wife of Herschel Moore, of Brave Star Route, and Patricia Ann, Donald Lee, Benjamin Allen and William Robert, all at home.
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