William MARCET

Extract from Alpine Journal vol xx, February 1900
 "In Memoriam" of Alfred Wills

...Both at Yvoire and at Malagny he made great use of his steam launches, of which he had several in succession. (vap04.html bottom of page, note G.P.). One of them very nearly brought him to a tragical end. The writer of this notice (Germaine (Anne) Achard Rigaud, note G. P.) paid a visit to Yvoire in September 1874. Dr. Marcet had gone in his steam launch to Lausanne to attend a medical congress, but was expected back that night. About 8 o'clock a violent thunder storm broke out, accompanied by a perfect hurricane of wind. The hours went on, but Dr. Marcet did not arrive, and it was concluded that he had not left Lausanne or had returned to it. He had left Lausanne, however, but the launch never returned. The short waves of the lake, too short for the launch to rise to them, had lapped over the side into an open well forward of the engine bulkhead. (Evap041.html 1st picture, note G.P.). Dr. Marcet noticed that his bow light got nearer and nearer to the water. Realising the situation he pulled the dinghy up, got his two men into her, jumped in himself, and had just time to cut the painter and fall a few feet astern when the launcb plunged bows foremost into 600 ft of water. They were some six miles out and had a hard struggle to get safety back to Lausanne. He returned by the first steamer the next morning. His father was staying at Yvoire, and his remark on hearing the story was characteristic of the tranquil philosophy of the speaker. 'Get another, William,' he said, 'get another. You may depend upon it the same accident will not happen to the same man twice.' William did get another, but it was some time before his nerve was quite as steady as before the accident....

(signed Alfred WILLS)

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