Arthur L. E. Thomas, 67, retired railroad man, saved Donald M. McCallum, 27, railroad gangman, Ronald A. Thomas, 38, garage operator, and Merton M. Dean, 36, constable, from drowning, Bristol, Quebec, May 29, 1965. At night when their boat was swamped in the Ottawa River 1000 feet from shore, Ronald Thomas, McCallum, and Dean were tossed into extremely cold water 20 feet deep. They clung to the over- turned boat and called for help as the strong wind and waves as much as three feet high moved it farther from shore. A man who heard them went to the home of the rescuer and reported that someone was in trouble in the river. The rescuer, who only a week earlier had been released from the hospital and was in poor physical condition, went to the river, unaware that one of the three men was his son. Although he could not swim, he launched a 14-foot aluminum boat and rowed toward the shouts of the men, finding wind and wave conditions increasingly rough. After rowing about 5500 feet, the rescuer reached the overturned boat. The three men were nearly exhausted and numbed by the cold water. The rescuer’s son tried to climb into the boat but was unable to do so. The boat, dipping dangerously, drifted away from the overturned craft while the rescuer aided his son aboard. Guided by the shouts of the other men, the rescuer rowed to them again. McCallum then grasped the side of the boat but was too weak to climb aboard. The rescuer took hold of him but could not get him into the boat, which again drifted away from the overturned craft. With the rescuer pulling on McCallum and his son using an oar to lift him, they got him aboard and then aided Dean into the boat in the same manner. The rescuer used one leg to keep the face of Dean, who lost consciousness, out of water four inches deep which had accumulated in the bottom of the boat. Wind and wave conditions did not lessen. Because none of the other three men was able to assist, the rescuer rowed back to shore and was exhausted by the time he reached it. McCallum, Dean, and the rescuer’s son were removed to a hospital and treated for shock and exposure. All recovered.
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