Arnulfo Cuellar, Jr., 24, sulphur mine pipeman, saved David R. Bailey, 8, and attempted to save Kathy M. LeBleu, 13, from drowning, Gilchrist, Texas, May 29, 1966. David and Kathy got into difficulty in the Gulf of Mexico and were carried by strong currents into deep water, where they called for help. Kathy managed to swim to a pile of rocks rising above the water at the end of a jetty and adjacent to a deep hole in which there was a whirlpool. Flailing to keep himself afloat in waves three feet high, David was carried farther from the jetty. Cuellar saw David and heard the latter’’ mother screaming for somebody to help him. None of the persons on the jetty was preparing to go the aid of David. Cuellar ran 150 feet to the water, waded 100 feet to the end of the jetty, and dived from it into deep water. Making slow progress and tiring because of the waves and the currents, he swam 300 feet to David. He towed David 300 feet, avoiding the whirlpool, and reached wadable water. Cuellar carried David 100 feet to shore and then learned that Kathy was missing. Although winded, Cuellar waded back into the water and swam to where he had reached David. He could not find Kathy. Cuellar swam to the end of the jetty and entered the deep hole to look for her. The whirlpool action spun him about, and he had great difficulty fighting his way to the surface. Finding he could not swim out of the hole because of the strong current, he called for help. A man on the jetty threw a rope to Cuellar, and by it he was drawn to the rocks. Divers with safety ropes searched the deep hole but could not find Kathy, whose body was recovered the next day.
48987 – 524248987-5242