Charles A. Stephens, 34, fisherman, assisted in an attempt to save Marion J. Bernhardt, 37, Coast-guard officer, and five other men from drowning, Florence, Oregon, March 7, 1938. A patrol-boat, which contained Bernhardt and his crew, was disabled by rough water in the Siuslaw River near its mouth at the Pacific Ocean and then was buffeted by high waves. Fearing the boat might drift onto a submerged sand-bar that extended west from the mouth of the river, Stephens and Vern A. Needles with great skill and difficulty maneuvered their fishing-boat from the ocean in a channel across the bar to a point 30 feet from the side of the other boat and 75 feet from a high rock and timber jetty at the north side of the river. An unusually high wave then broke over Stephens’s boat and rolled it on its side, part of the superstructure being crushed; and Stephens held to the boat. Needles soon was observed trying to swim at a point 60 feet from the boat. He later sank and was drowned. The boat was struck by waves three or four times in quick succession, Stephens each time being swept from the boat and then swimming to it. Waves repeatedly rolled over the boat, and it drifted on a shoal to water six feet deep. After he had been in the water for an hour, Stephens swam 50 feet and then waded to a jetty at the south side of the river. He was exhausted but recovered. The other boat was washed onto rocks at the ocean shore, and the crew reached shore.
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