Charles S. Harris, 21, student, saved Barbara F. Webb and attempted to save Betty S. Webb from drowning, Guntersville, Alabama, September 2, 1962. Barbara, 8, and Betty, 10, were in the rear seat of the family coupe which plunged into Big Spring Creek following a collision, tilted onto its side, and sank in water 11 feet deep 30 feet from the nearest bank. The girls’ parents, two brothers, and a sister escaped through an open door window and were aided to the bank by others. The mother pleaded for someone to get Barbara and Betty. Harris, wearing walking shorts, swam to where three men atop the sunken coupe had reached downward through the open window but had failed to find the girls. Harris told the men to hold him by the ankles so he could partly enter the automobile. He said he would signal when he wanted to be pulled up. The men held his ankles, and Harris thrust his arms, head, and shoulders downward through the window opening. He groped about the front seat but found no one before being pulled up for air. On the third attempt he found Barbara caught beneath the steering post. Harris freed her, and the men drew them to the surface. Barbara was taken to the bank, where she was revived. After failing to find Betty during further lengthy submersions, Harris submerged without the men holding him and wholly entered the front compartment. He then moved through a 12-inch space between a floating seat cushion and the bent backrest of the front seat. In the rear compartment he found Betty. With his lungs paining him greatly, Harris attempted to move back into the front section with Betty, but the space between the cushion and the backrest was too small. Badly in need of air he thrust his feet through the narrow space. He then moved into the front section and out through the window opening, drawing Betty after him. Harris was gasping for breath when he surfaced with Betty, who could not be revived.
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