Daniel Lynn Merkel, 15, schoolboy, saved Gary D. Stewart, 12, from drowning, Llano, Texas, May 15, 1965. While attempting to wade across the bottom of a spillway a 150 feet from the end of the Llano River Dam, Gary was swept into a pool in the river where the water was 10 to 15 feet deep. His efforts in trying to reach the nearest rocks, which were at the bottom of the spillway, caused him to tire. He tried to remove his trousers, which pulled him down, and he then called for help. Merkel waded and swam 70 feet to the edge of the pool. He dived into the deep water and surfaced alongside Gary, who grasped him tightly around the neck and caused them to be submerged. Merkel broke away, but when they surfaced Gary regained his hold. After being submerged briefly again, Merkel secured a hold on Gary from behind. Merkel also attempted to reach the nearest rocks and towed Gary against the current from the spillway. Twice he succeeded in moving Gary to the rocks, but the current carried them away before they could obtain holds. By then Gary was exhausted, and Merkel was tiring rapidly. After the current had carried them away from the bottom of the spillway and caused them to be submerged briefly, Merkel regained his hold on Gary. In maneuvering to face the spillway, Merkel moved out of the strong current. He then towed Gary 15 feet to rocks at the side of the spillway and secured footing on a ledge in water to his chest. After resting briefly, Merkel lifted Gary onto the rocks and then climbed out. Both recovered.
48034 – 506648034-5066