Garrett Raymond Cuppels attempted to save Matthew Beaufort from drowning, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, May 6, 2000. Beaufort dropped from a bridge spanning the Schuylkill River and struggled to stay afloat in the 10-foot-deep, murky water. On the far bank of the river, Cuppels, 25, medical school student, concluded that Beaufort could not swim and that assembled emergency personnel were not then effecting a rescue. Cuppels made his way to the river, discarding items of attire, then entered the water and swam about 350 feet to where Beaufort, who had submerged by then, was last seen. Cuppels dived and found Beaufort lying on the bottom of the river. He pulled him to the surface, then, finding him unconscious and not breathing, applied mouth-to-mouth resuscitation while he swam toward the other bank, which was closer, towing Beaufort. A man entered the water from that bank, swam to them, and helped briefly. At a point about 30 feet from the bank, Cuppels stood in wadable water and pulled Beaufort the rest of the way in. Emergency personnel attempted to revive Beaufort and took him to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead of drowning. Cuppels was winded after the rescue and sustained minor bruising; he recovered.
75361 – 859875361-8598