Francis J. O’Hara, 13, schoolboy, died helping to save Steven A. DeSantis, 14, from drowning, Willowick, Ohio, January 25, 1969. Steven, venturing out onto an ice apron which had formed along the shore of Lake Erie, was 35 feet from the bank when he dropped from sight as a large section of the ice broke away. Francis made his way to the edge of a cove which had formed in the apron with the separation of the ice. He then was atop a wal1 of ice, and Steven was six and a half feet below him, standing in water two and a half feet deep. Steven said his feet were stuck. Francis jumped down into the water and tried to free Steven’s right foot. The large section of ice broke up; and waves moving into the cove knocked the boys down, but they regained their footing. Francis pulled Steven’s right foot out of his boot; and the eroding effect of the waves then freed his other foot. The boys were unable to climb out of the water because of the wall of ice around the cove. A man arrived and, lying prone atop the ice wall, reached down over the edge. He grasped Steven by the arms. A policeman arrived and, in the same manner, obtained a hold on Francis. A wave then swept both boys away from the men and carried them farther outward in the cove to where the ice wall was higher and the water was deeper. A floating log struck Francis on the head, and he sank. Steven made his way back to a point beneath the men atop the ice wall. Others arrived, and Steven was lifted from the water. He required hospitalization. The body of Francis later was recovered.
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