Charles J. Wood died helping to save Merle W. Brown, Jr., from drowning, Bruneau, Idaho, July 23, 1961. When Merle, 9, got into water 10 feet deep in a lake, he was submerged briefly 150 feet from shore, swallowing some water, and then called for help. Wood, 25, construction worker, who had been complaining of feeling exhausted from the 100 degree heat, removed only his shoes, entered the water, and began swimming toward Merle, who was floundering wildly. By the time he reached Merle, Wood was moving very slowly. Calling out that he could not make it, Wood thrust Merle eight feet to an air mattress being pushed toward them by another boy. Wood then sank. Merle grasped the mattress at the opposite end from the other boy, and they swam to shore with it. Merle’s father obtained another air mattress and swam with it to where Wood had sunk. He was joined by a man and his wife. The woman brought Wood, who was inert, to the surface and with the aid of her husband took him to shore, where they administered artificial respiration. Wood could not be revived.
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