...his quick actions saved many lives...
The rescue efforts began immediately after the S. S. Eastland capsized into the Chicago River on July 24, 1915.
Earlier that morning, the tug Kenosha had been tied to the bow of the Eastland in preparation for towing her out onto Lake Michigan. Upon watching the Eastland roll into the Chicago River, Captain John O’Meara (standing directly below the letter ‘H” in Kenosha) ordered his tug be secured to the wharf to form a bridge between the overturned hull of the Eastland and the safety of the wharf.
Due to the quick and decisive actions taken by O’Meara and his crew (including Carl Mattson, among others), the survival rate of the passengers was significantly increased.