Edward Marks saved Jennifer and Claribel Vasquez from drowning, South Padre Island, Texas, June 11, 2000. Sisters Jennifer, 7, and Claribel, 11, were playing in the Gulf of Mexico beside a jetty when they were pulled farther from shore by a strong current. They struggled and yelled for help, catching the attention of people on the jetty, including Marks, 38, firefighter, who was fishing there. Marks immediately jumped into the water and swam about 90 feet to the girls, who by then were about 375 feet from shore. After a struggle, during which he was submerged, Marks grasped Jennifer around the wrist and instructed Claribel to hold onto her. He then swam back to the jetty, towing the girls. At the base of the jetty, Marks helped the girls to climb within reach of others on the jetty. Marks then attempted to pull himself onto the jetty but could not because of rough waves breaking over him. Those on the jetty lowered a rope to him and pulled him from the water. The girls and Marks were tired, and they recovered.
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