Charles V. Wilson, Jr., helped to save David O. Bowles from drowning, Salineno, Texas, September 27, 1959. When David, 11, was swept into a swift current in the Rio Grande River on an inflated mattress, he jumped into water 10 feet deep 150 feet from the bank and, unable to swim across the current, shouted for help. Charles, 14, schoolboy, and two other boys were in the water with a small rubber raft and started toward David, who was submerged briefly several times and swallowed water. Charles then released the raft and swam 75 feet to David, who outweighed him by 10 pounds. David, flailing wildly, grasped him by the shoulders. As David sank again, he pulled Charles under and kicked frantically, striking him. Charles rose with David, who again caused them to be submerged, shifting his hold to around the neck of Charles and again kicking him. Charles was unable to break David’s hold and swallowed water before surfacing with him. Meanwhile a man who was a good swimmer had entered the water and had swum to the raft, which then was within 25 feet of Charles and David. Again forced under by David, whose hold was choking him, Charles swallowed more water. He returned to the surface with David and tried to calm him. David removed his hands from the neck of Charles and grasped his shoulders. The raft reached them. Greatly fatigued, David and Charles clung to the raft as the man and the two boys moved it diagonally 300 feet across the current to the bank.
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