Lieutenant Frank Rankin, Jr.

Lieutenant Frank Rankin, Jr.

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, California

End of Watch Saturday, January 30, 1960

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Frank Rankin, Jr.

Lieutenant Frank Rankin drowned in the Klamath River as he and an inmate from the Yreka Work Camp, in Siskiyou County, attempted to string an aerial TV antenna across the river.

The two were using a guide rope to pull their boat across the turbulent river. The bow of the boat went under water, which caused the boat to immediately capsize. Lieutenant Rankin and the inmate were both thrown into the water. The inmate was able to swim to shore but Lieutenant Rankin was washed downstream. His body was recovered several weeks later 100 miles downstream of where the boat capsized.

Lieutenant Rankin had served with the California Department of Corrections for 12 years. He was survived by his wife and five children.


  • Age 41
  • Tour 12 years
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Drowned

Most Recent Reflection

View all 7 Reflections

Wow. My sister found this site today on Twitter. I was unaware of this amazing organization. I’m extremely grateful and humbled by the words of others.

My name is Frank E. Rankin III, youngest son of FER Jr. I was 8 years old when my father drowned in the Klamath River.

I worked for CDCR for ten years, then became a lawyer. My practice was handling workers’ conoensation claims for peace officers, including family members who were entitled to w/c death benefits for their peace officer loved ones who died as a consequence of the job.

Thank y’all and this organization for doing what is an important role for peace officers.

I’ve missed my father all these years and very pleased my sister found this organization.

Regards, Frank

Frank E. Rankin III
Son and retired CDCR

November 19, 2018

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