Edward W. Joyner saved Walter W. Shirey from burning, Hendersonville, Tennessee, April 23, 1961. When an explosion occurred aboard a cabin cruiser anchored 70 feet off shore in Old Hickory Lake, Shirey, 50, shoe company controller, was severely injured, and fire broke out in the cabin. Not one of the other 13 persons aboard the craft was injured or burned seriously. Shirey managed to get to the stern of the cruiser, where a passenger had untied a motorboat moored there. Joyner, 37, office supply company manager, who was at the bow, saw Shirey collapse unconscious on the deck. Although fearing that the cruiser’s fuel tanks containing about 80 gallons of gasoline might explode at any time, Joyner ran 25 feet to Shirey, passing within a foot of flames then seven feet high inside the cabin. All other passengers safely left the cruiser, some of them being picked up by a fishing boat and the others either climbing aboard or clinging to the motorboat. Joyner lifted Shirey into his arms and jumped overboard into water 15 feet deep. They were submerged, and Joyner with difficulty struggled to the surface, still holding Shirey. Already fatigued and breathing with difficulty, Joyner towed Shirey 12 feet to the motorboat. Shirey was taken aboard, and Joyner clung to the side, feeling numb from the cold water. Just as the two small boats reached shore, there was a muffled explosion aboard the cruiser. High flames spread rapidly throughout the craft, which burned to the water line. Shirey was hospitalized three weeks. He recovered, as did the others who had sustained burns or injuries.
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