Brian J. Phillips saved Traci S. P. Knowles and Kaitlyn D. Baker from drowning, North Topsail Beach, North Carolina, June 28, 1999. Traci and Kaitlyn, both 6, were wading in the Atlantic Ocean when they were carried away from shore by a strong current. Kaitlyn’s mother shouted for help, attracting the attention of Phillips, 41, chemical engineer, who was walking nearby on the beach. Seeing the girls about 450 feet from shore, Phillips removed his shirt, entered the water, and swam to Traci, who had by then been carried even farther out. Phillips placed Traci on his back and swam to Kaitlyn, who was submerged nearby. He grasped Kaitlyn and pulled her back to the surface of the water. With Traci on his back and holding Kaitlyn with one arm, Phillips swam back to the beach. He had difficulty doing so, as he swam against the current. Reaching wadable water, Phillips and the girls left the surf, tired but uninjured.
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