Fern Gray, 43, beautician’s helper, saved Ronald W. Beichner, 12, school-boy, from drowning, President, Pennsylvania, July 7, 1937. While wading in the Allegheny River, Ronald and another young boy stepped into unwadable water and were submerged in water six feet deep 25 feet from the bank. Mrs. Gray partly clothed waded and then swam 20 feet to Ronald, the other boy having sunk. She took hold of his arm and raised his head above the surface. Ronald then tried to climb on her, and there was a violent struggle in which Mrs. Gray twice was submerged and was kicked in the abdomen. Tiring, Mrs. Gray called for help; and a man waded toward her but made no effort to aid. Ronald from behind her threw his arms around her neck tightly, his knees being against her back and his finger-nails digging into her neck and face; and she breathed with difficulty. Mrs. Gray then slowly swam 15 feet towing Ronald, stood in wadable water, and broke his hold. Ronald went to the bank; and Mrs. Gray was aided to the bank, crawling the last few feet. She suffered a sprained back and a nervous breakdown and was fully disabled for about three weeks. The other boy was drowned.
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