Gary P. Heap helped to save Marian M. Plescia from drowning, Slidell, Louisiana, June 7, 1970. Fire broke out on a twin-engine craft about 50 feet from the banks of a bayou inflicting burns on everyone aboard. Although she could not swim, Mrs. Plescia, 53, jumped overboard with other passengers. Gary, 16, high school student, jumped from another boat to give aid. He swam to the burning craft despite being warned of a possible explosion. Hearing Mrs. Plescia scream for help, Gary swam to alongside the boat and found her struggling with one of the men who had jumped from the burning craft. Gary pulled Mrs. Plescia away as she continued to struggle. Gary and the man then held Mrs. Plescia by the arms and towed her to another boat.
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