Garey La Monte Rickley died saving Carol Anne Seyle from drowning, Isle of Palms, South Carolina, June 16, 1962. Miss Seyle, 19, Rickley, 20, student, Miss Carole Ann Mathews, A. Walter McElroy, Jr., and two other young people while wading in surf in the Atlantic Ocean moved into deep water 120 feet from shore, where they were submerged briefly in water 12 feet deep between waves generally two feet high. All could swim except Miss Seyle. Rickley swam to her as she struggled to stay afloat after being carried 20 feet farther from shore, and she took hold of his shoulders. Rickley swam shoreward with her but made slow progress as waves about two feet high broke over them and a strong tidal current carried them parallel to the beach. After Rickley had towed Miss Seyle a total of 90 feet with great effort, they still were 10 feet from wadable water. Saying that he could not make it to the beach, Rickley drew Miss Seyle in front of him and pushed her several feet toward shore. Rickley then sank and did not reappear. A man who had arrived aided Miss Seyle to the beach, where she lost consciousness. Meanwhile Miss Mathews was clinging to a young man who tried without success to tow her toward the beach. They called for help as they were carried farther from shore. McElroy swam toward them as his companion with much effort swam alone to the beach, where she collapsed. Swimming 50 feet with difficulty because of the waves and currents, McElroy reached Miss Mathews 165 feet from shore. She released her companion and grasped McElroy’s shoulder, causing him to be submerged briefly. He freed himself and calmed Miss Mathews. Her companion swam with difficulty to the beach and then collapsed. McElroy obtained a hold on Miss Mathews and, swallowing water at times when waves caught him unaware, towed her 15 feet toward shore with much effort. McElroy turned onto his back and continued swimming shoreward towing Miss Mathews. After a total swim of 175 feet he reached the beach, where he collapsed and Miss Mathews lost consciousness. Police and the Coast Guard were summoned; and the body of Rickley was recovered in two hours. Miss Seyle and Miss Mathews were revived and recovered, as did McElroy and the other two persons.
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