Cornelius P. Hagerty saved Debra J. and Diane J. Mahony from drowning, Revere Beach, Massachusetts, August 5, 1962. Debra, 7, and Diane, 10, neither of whom could swim, accidentally stepped off a sandbar in the Atlantic Ocean, were submerged briefly in water beyond their depth, and then alternately rose and sank as the current carried them farther from the beach. Noticing that the girls were in difficulty, Hagerty, 41, maintenance worker, ran 150 feet and entered the water clad in swimming trunks and an undershirt. He waded and swam 125 feet to behind Debra, who was 90 feet from shore in water 12 feet deep between waves two feet high. Hagerty twice thrust Debra toward Diane and each time was submerged briefly. He then swam to Diane, who grasped him and began to climb onto him, forcing both beneath the surface. Hagerty broke free of Diane, whose grasp tore his undershirt. They surfaced, and Hagerty thrust Diane toward Debra. He then swam to Debra, who had become inert, and thrust her to near Diane. He again was submerged briefly and took in some water as he began to tire. By thrusting alternately against the back of each girl, he moved them 20 feet farther toward shore, becoming weaker with each thrust and at times dipping beneath the surface. His limbs were aching badly as he reached the sandbar and stood erect, gasping for breath while holding Diane and Debra. Two youths waded to the bar and carried the girls to shore. Hagerty followed and collapsed on the beach. All recovered.
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