Connelly Phelps Parker, Jr., helped to save Richard B. Bennett from drowning, North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, August 14, 2010. Bennett, 59, was attempting to swim across a channel in Hog Inlet when he was swept by a strong tidal current out into the Atlantic Ocean. His friends alerted Parker, 52, builder’s superintendent, who was nearby, having been fishing from his 14-foot, fiberglass skiff in inland waters. Although Parker was not a strong swimmer and his boat was inadequate for use in the surf at the mouth of the inlet, Parker took it through the inlet to Bennett, who by then was floating unconscious in the breakers. As waves swamped his boat, Parker reached over the side for Bennett, who outweighed him, but he could not pull Bennett aboard. The boat capsized. Parker managed to free its anchor, and he held to the overturned boat with one arm as he supported Bennett with the other. A woman on a personal watercraft came upon them, but as she was attempting to aid them, the motor of her craft was fouled by a line and was left without power. She held to Bennett on the watercraft as it drifted away, its course taking them toward shore. Others responded from the beach and removed Bennett to safety; likewise, Parker was returned to shore by others. Bennett, exhausted, was taken to the hospital for observation, and he recovered. Parker also was exhausted, and too recovered.
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Connelly “C.P.” Parker, 59, of North Myrtle Beach, S.C., died on Dec. 10, 2017, after a long battle with glioblastoma. Parker received a Carnegie Medal for saving a drowning man’s life.
Parker enjoyed to work. He worked hard, even in his final days. He believed a man could be measured by his work ethic, and he proved this daily. Fate brought Parker to Whitney Blair, with Jeff and Lisa Sanderson, where his work became his family.
Parker loved running, boating, a good drink, and his family. He completed three marathons and continued to run every morning until his last days. He was married to his wife, Tami Ewart Parker, for 19 years.
Born on June 26, 1958, in Burlington, N.C., he was the son of Connelly P. Parker, Sr., and Ann Howell Parker.
(Edited from an obituary provided by the family.)