Frank W. Richards died helping to save Debra C. Conley and Sheryll M. Roberts from drowning Sebec, Maine, July 21, 1963. While wading on a submerged bar in Sebec River, Debra, 11, and Sheryll, 13, moved too close to the edge and were caught by a backlash of the current, which carried them into deep water. Floundering and alternately grasping each others the girls were submerged at least once and swallowed water. Richards, 41, welder, waded fully clothed onto the bar to opposite the girls and lunged into the deep water. He swam 30 feet to Debra and Sheryll and took hold of each girl. They continued to flounder wildly, and with Richards were carried farther from the bar. Harold V. Roberts, Jr., Sheryll’s father, entered the water fully clothed and swam 45 feet to them. Believing that Richards would be able to handle Debra, Roberts took hold of his daughter, who was nearest, and towed her to the bar. He then saw that Richards, supporting Debra as she continued to flounder, was making no progress and appeared to be growing weaker. Roberts already tired, swam 45 feet to Debra and Richards, both of whom sank just before he reached them. Debra immediately reappeared. Roberts took hold of her and towed her toward the bar, assuming that Richards would surface and follow. With Debra clinging to one arm, Roberts with effort towed her to within five feet of the bar. He was breathing heavily and was near exhaustion as others aided him and Debra from the water. Richards did not return to the surface. Divers later recovered his body.
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