Donald A. Gardom died attempting to save Grace Ann Becker from drowning, Springerville, Arizona, May 15, 1964. Grace, 14, entered the cool water of a reservoir, swam 250 feet to within 200 feet of the opposite bank, and then shouted that she could not make it the rest of the way. Although his swimming ability was limited, Gardom, 19, high school student, entered the water, followed by two younger boys, aged 14 and 15. Gardom swam 300 feet diagonally toward Grace, who moved nearer the opposite bank. Midway the reservoir in water 15 feet deep, Gardom stopped swimming, shouted that he could go no farther, and was submerged briefly several times. The older of the two other boys swam to Gardom, who was floundering. Despite Gardom’s flailing arms, the boy secured a hold on him and started towing him but was unable to continue after he twisted his shoulder, which he had injured several days earlier. When the younger boy arrived, the older one urged him to help Gardom before starting to return to the bank. Grace, meanwhile, was aided to the opposite bank by two girls. The younger boy extended a hand to Gardom and urged him to take hold of it, but Gardom paid no heed and, still floundering, was submerged briefly twice more. He then sank again, grasped the younger boy by the ankles, and pulled him to the bottom. Gardom remained submerged but released the boy, who returned to the surface briefly. As the boy sank again, his brother arrived, grasped his upraised hand, and towed him to the bank. Gardom’s body later was recovered.
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