David A. Rice died attempting to save Stephen V. Kron from drowning, San Gregorio, California, March 31, 1961. While swimming in the Pacific Ocean, Stephen, 17, schoolboy, became tired and attempted to swim to shore with the aid of two other youths, but all were swept seaward by a strong undertow. Rice, 29, Y.M.C.A. associate secretary, who was not in good health, entered the water and swam to 150 feet from shore, where swells were six feet high. He took hold of Stephen, who had swallowed much water and was nearly limp, and told the other youths to swim to the beach, which they did with some difficulty. Attempting to tow Stephen to shore, Rice twice was swept back by the undertow and tired rapidly. Larry D. Penrose and Robert L. Pardini then started swimming toward them taking along an inflated mattress six feet long and three feet wide. Before they could reach Rice, he disappeared beneath the surface after having supported Stephen for approximately 15 minutes. Two hundred and seventy five feet from shore Penrose and Pardini reached Stephen and maneuvered him partially onto the mattress. They held Stephen, who was too weak to help himself and swam 150 feet toward shore. The undertow then swept them seaward, as it did on two more attempts. A large swell upset the mattress; and all were submerged briefly, Pardini swallowing water. Penrose and Pardini once more worked Stephen partially onto the mattress. A larger swell again upset the mattress after Penrose and Pardini had supported Stephen a total of 40 minutes. All were submerged, and Stephen did not reappear. After submerging to look for Kron but failing to find him, Penrose then clung to the mattress. Pardini, who had swallowed more water, did likewise. Both were fatigued and winded. A Coast Guard helicopter soon arrived and lowered a large basket in which Penrose and Pardini were taken 150 feet to shore. Meanwhile others had seen Rice appear inert at the surface in wadable water and had brought him to shore, but he could not be revived. Stephen’s body was washed ashore 10 days later seven miles from the scene.
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