Burgess R. Field, Jr., 23 , paper trimmer’s helper, helped to save Russell J. Snowball, 8, schoolboy, from drowning, Fort Edward, New York, February 13, 1959. While he and two other boys were playing on a snow pile along the Hudson River, Russell slid into icy water 10 feet deep where, unable to get back to the bank, he drifted downstream between ice aprons bordering each side of the river. The other boys attracted a number of persons, including Field, whose right hand had been broken and was in a cast to his elbow, permitting only partial flexion of his fingers. Removing his coat and shoes, Field entered the river at an area of open water in the ice apron. He swam diagonally across the current and overtook Russell 70 feet from the bank in water 12 feet deep. Field attempted to swim toward the bank with Russell but could make no headway. As Field and Russell drifted downstream, a man tried without success to throw them a rope. Another man thrust a 10-foot plank across the ice into the water, and it drifted to them. Field placed his injured arm over the plank but kept his other arm around Russell, who also held to the plank. Becoming numb from the cold water, Field with effort moved with the plank and Russell 75 feet to the edge of the ice apron but was unable to hold to it. As Field and Russell continued drifting, a young man in a rowboat overtook them. Field, who by then had supported Russell for 345 feet, boosted him aboard and climbed into the boat. They proceeded 100 feet to a dock. Field and Russell were badly chilled but recovered.
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