Donald Elmer Morse helped to save Scott E. Culp from drowning, Tillamook, Oregon, July 17, 1966. While frolicking in the surf at a beach on the Pacific Ocean, Scott, 10, fell from an inflated inner tube and floundered in water beyond his depth. Removing his shoes, Morse, 29, construction inspector, waded and swam 200 feet to Scott, who grasped him around the neck and caused both to be submerged. They surfaced, but Scott flailed wildly and caused Morse to be submerged briefly again. Nauseated by water he had swallowed, Morse supported Scott with his legs while regaining his breath. He then sought to push Scott toward the beach but made little progress because of currents moving away from shore. Nearby, Patricia M. Huff was in difficulty on a submerged sand bar 235 feet from the beach, where the currents and waves threatened to sweep her into water beyond her depth. John R. Norlin noticed Patricia’s plight. Undressing to his undershorts, he waded and swam to her, retrieving the inner tube along the way. Patricia was near panic. Norlin aided her to a prone position on the tube and then started towing her shoreward. Swimming against the currents tired Norlin, but by persistent effort he towed Patricia to wadable water. He then noticed that Morse, who was weakened by nausea, was making very little progress shoreward with Scott. While Norlin was swimming and wading to them 175 feet from shore, Scott sank. Morse by then was very winded. After locating Scott by probing the water which was clouded with sand, Norlin brought him to the surface. Scott was unconscious. Norlin towed him 100 feet to wadable water and administered mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Scott was revived. Morse, who was near exhaustion, reached shore with the aid of inner tubes provided him by Norlin and others.
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