Edward J. McCarty, 28, technical writer, helped to save Joseph W. Chvatal, Jr., from drowning, Howard Beach, New York, February 13, 1961. When Joseph, 14, schoolboy, broke through ice on Shellbank Basin into deep-water 100 feet from the bank, his efforts to climb out enlarged the hole to 10 feet in diameter, and he called for help. McCarty, 28, technical writer, who could not swim, found a partially rotted plank and propelled himself on it to within three feet of the hole. He then pushed one end of the plank to Joseph, who grasped it and tried to climb out, but part of the plank broke off. Immediately McCarty thrust the rest of the plank to Joseph. Finding that the plank would not support him, Joseph clung to the ice at the edge of the hole. The ice then gave way under McCarty; and he fell into the hole, where he held to a large piece of ice for support. A man and a youth walked 25 feet onto the ice with a rope attached to a life preserver, which they threw to McCarty. Joseph’s numbed hands began to slip from the ice, and McCarty extended one leg to him. Joseph grasped the leg of McCarty, who then drew him to the preserver, pulled him partially onto it, and held him there. As the persons holding the rope drew on it, McCarty was pulled against the ice, causing him some pain. He then broke ice ahead of him as he was drawn with Joseph to within 30 feet of the bank, where the ice was firmer. McCarty moved Joseph onto the stronger ice and worked the preserver around him so that he could be pulled to the bank. The preserver was tossed back to McCarty, who also was drawn to the bank.
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