Elijah Jarred Wittum saved Marlon Porfirio from drowning, Cooleemee, North Carolina, May 30, 2009. Marlon, 15, was swept downstream by the very swift current of the South Yadkin River, which was swollen and muddied from heavy rain. He shouted for help. In another party at the scene, Elijah, 16, high school student, was in wadable water near the bank. He immediately entered the deeper water and swam downstream after Marlon, reaching him at a point about 30 feet out. Both boys then submerged, but Elijah broke free and surfaced. He went under the water, found Marlon, and returned him to the surface. Holding to Marlon, Elijah swam toward the bank as the current carried them downstream. They reached a tree that extended from the bank over the water, and Elijah grasped it. Men who were fishing nearby took Marlon into the tree and then to the bank, Elijah following. Marlon was taken to the hospital, and Elijah was tired after the rescue and sustained scratches to his arms, but he recovered.
82286 – 933882286-9338