Benjamin L. Midgett, 15, schoolboy, saved David E. and William A. Batten from drowning, Nags Head, North Carolina, June 6, 1960. When the motorboat in which they were riding was capsized by breakers in Oregon Inlet 1200 feet from shore, David, 8, was thrown clear; but William, 10, his parents, another man, and a four-year-old boy were trapped beneath the overturned craft. William Soon rose to the surface. David and William, neither of whom could swim, struggled to stay afloat but were submerged intermittently by breakers three to four feet high which carried them away from the boat. A charter craft on which Benjamin, 15, schoolboy, was a boat hand moved into the breakers, where the pilot idled the craft. Fully clothed except for shoes, Benjamin dived into the water, swam 40 feet to David, and placed one arm around him. David put his arms around the neck of Benjamin, who then towed him back to the charter boat. Treading water three feet from the craft’s propeller, Benjamin lifted David upward, and one of the men in the boat pulled him aboard. By then the other man who had been in the overturned boat had struggled from beneath it and with difficulty held William at the surface. Benjamin swam 60 feet through the breakers and took William from the man. After towing William 40 feet, Benjamin became very tired and his progress slowed. From the charter craft a man hurled one end of a rope to Benjamin, who grasped it and still supporting William, was drawn to the boat. By then he was too weak to raise William from the water. A man in the boat pulled William and then Benjamin aboard. The parents of David and William escaped from beneath the capsized boat; and they and the other man were removed from the water. The four-year-old boy drowned.
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