Ernest C. Sheffield died attempting to save James W. Lynch and others from drowning, Newport, Rhode Island, March 28, 1991. James, 14, on a school outing with three other boys and two counselors, was on the rocky shore of Narragansett Bay when he was washed into the ocean by a large wave. Both counselors jumped in after him, but they too encountered difficulty in the rough, cold water. Ernest, 13, one of the other students, positioned himself on a rock at the water line, and, holding to the hand of another boy for support, reached toward the struggling victims. A wave broke over Ernest and washed him into the water. One of the counselors was rescued by others who had arrived, but the other counselor, James, and Ernest all drowned.
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