Clarence V. Smith saved Richard J. Haller from drowning, Saginaw, Michigan, July 24, 1961. When he fell from a railroad bridge into the Saginaw River, Richard, 14, schoolboy, swam to a pier of the bridge 60 feet from the bank. Very tired and unable to secure a hold on the smooth concrete pier, he trod water weakly and called for help. Smith, 25, railway signal maintainer, was walking across the bridge and saw Richard sink briefly twice in water 10 feet deep. Removing only his shoes, Smith climbed over the bridge railing, jumped down five feet onto the top of the pier and thence into the water 11 feet below. He surfaced alongside Richard, who grasped Smith’s arms and tried to climb onto his shoulders. Both were submerged, but Smith struggled to the surface with Richard and then forcibly broke his hold. Two more times Richard grasped Smith and caused both to be submerged briefly. After breaking Richard’s hold each time, Smith then was short of breath. Cautioning Richard not to struggle further, Smith towed him 45 feet, making slow progress and tiring rapidly because Richard weighed nearly as much as he. Fifteen feet from the bank Smith found footing and supported Richard as they waded from the water. Both were nearly exhausted but recovered..
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