Ambale Venkataram died saving Alvin E. Plitt, Jr., from drowning, Denham Springs, Louisiana, April 24, 1965. At a beach along the Amite River, Alvin, 8, a deaf-mute who was a poor swimmer, waded 10 feet into the water and was submerged briefly. The wife of Venkataram noticed Alvin and feared he was drowning. She shouted to her husband, who could not swim but was wading in the water, and told him to get Alvin. Venkataram, 34, graduate assistant, who never had been to the scene before but had been told that the current was dangerous, waded to where Alvin was floundering 12 feet from the beach. In water to his chin, Venkataram stepped backward toward the beach and pulled Alvin with him. He then moved behind Alvin and appeared to be trying to push him toward the beach. Others in Venkataram’s party shouted for someone to help him because be could not swim. A man waded toward Alvin and Venkataram, who were submerged briefly in water seven feet deep 14 feet from the beach. Venkataram pushed Alvin forcibly and moved him five feet toward the man. The latter grasped Alvin and took him to the beach. Venkataram, caught by the swift current, was carried into deeper water and began to drift downstream. He was submerged intermittently, flailing each time he surfaced. Three men entered the water, and a fisherman rowed his boat to within six feet of Venkataram 40 feet from the beach. The man extended an oar to Venkataram, who raised his hands and then sank. The three men and others could not find Venkataram in the muddy water. A rescue squad located and removed Venkataram, but he could not be revived.
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