Dale B. Walden saved William H. Miller and J. Blaine Nickell from drowning, Valley View, Kentucky, May 21, 1967. When their motorboat was swept toward a 15-foot dam in the Kentucky River, Miller, 44, corporation executive, and four other men jumped overboard. One man reached the bank, but Miller and the others were carried over the dam, as was a large cabin cruiser containing Nickell, 67, attorney, and four companions. The cruiser broke up in the rolling boil which extended 20 feet from the base of the dam and was 40 inches high. Walden, 57, lockmaster, who only recently had recovered from surgery, ran to a lock at the river bank. Running along narrow walkways, he reached the lock wall 20 feet above the water. He saw Miller, who could not swim and was wearing a life belt, surface and flail wildly. Walden descended ladders embedded in the lock walls and reached a leaky wooden boat 14 feet long and 11 inches deep equipped with an outboard motor. Walden, who was wearing a life jacket, bailed water with one hand as he piloted the boat 250 feet to where Miller was bobbing at the surface in very turbulent water 13 feet deep within five feet of the edge of the rolling boil. Walden drew Miller, who was nearly limp, into the boat as it rocked and dipped. He began backing away from the boil and then noticed Nickell. Still bailing water, Walden piloted the boat backward 25 feet to Nickell. The latter was holding another man who was inert. Fearing that another person in the small craft would sink it, Walden drew Nickell to its side and told him to hold to the boat. Nickell did so, retaining his hold on his inert companion. Walden continued bailing water as he backed the boat 20 feet farther, moving out of the turbulent area. He then proceeded to the bank with Nickell clinging to the boat and holding the other man. Besides Miller and Nickell, only two others of the ten men survived.
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