Gary W. Hamman saved Mary K. Curtis and Dee Ann Seigars from drowning, Mankato, Minnesota, June 13, 1963. While swimming in Lake Washington near a pontoon boat 1,300 feet from shore, Mary, 16, suffered a severe cramp, was submerged briefly in deep water, and called for help. Gary, 16, schoolboy, Dee Ann, 16, Miss Seigars, and Dennis H. Hauch, 17, dived from the boat and swam 40 feet to her. As Gary and Dee Ann towed Mary toward the boat, Dennis, who only recently had recovered from illness, followed close behind and offered his help. Because the boat was drifting farther away, Gary called to another youth aboard the craft to bring it to them. The motor stalled when the boat was 60 feet from them, and the craft again began drifting. By then the surface of the lake had become choppy, and waves were two feet high. Gary said he would try to tow Mary to shore instead of attempting to overtake the boat. Dennis felt he could not swim that far, but Dee Ann said she would aid him if necessary. Mary grasped Gary and caused both to be submerged briefly. Gary broke her hold, turned her onto her back, and began towing her. Five hundred feet from shore he lost his hold on Mary, who threw her arms around him. Both were submerged. Mary released her hold, and Gary took her to the surface. He resumed towing her and was short of breath by the time he reached wadable water. He aided Mary in wading a 150 feet to shore. Meanwhile Dee Ann followed by Dennis, had swum 300 feet. Dennis then said he could not swim the rest of the way. He tried floating, but the waves caused him to take in water. Dennis swam 230 feet farther and nearly was exhausted. He grasped Dee Ann about the neck, but she broke free. With Dennis floating on his back, Dee Ann towed him 20 feet. Dennis then grasped her again, causing both to be submerged briefly. Dee Ann freed herself, but Dennis once more grasped her briefly. By then they had drifted 30 feet nearer shore. Dennis tried to swim but sank almost immediately. Dee Ann dived, grasped Dennis by the hand, and surfaced with him. Dennis swam 20 feet and then sank again. Dee Ann made three surface dives in the area but could not find him. By then very tired, she swam and drifted to within 300 feet of shore, calling for help. Gary heard her cries, re-entered the water, and swam to her. Dee Ann attempted to swim with Gary to where Dennis had disappeared, but she sank. Gary drew her to the surface, towed her 150 feet to wadable water, and carried her to shore. Dennis’s body was later recovered.
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