Gerald L. Thuemer died saving Lawrence Sarchi from suffocation, West Hollywood, Florida, January 11, 1964. Lawrence, 17, schoolboy, and Gerald, 17, schoolboy, were hunting and arrived at a pit 80 feet wide and 20 feet deep in which rubbish was packed solidly half way across and thence sloped downward to the other side beneath thick mire. The two youths walked over the solid rubbish and continued onto a crust 20 inches thick, which had formed atop the mire and gave the appearance of solidity. The crust gave way, and both youths began to sink. Gerald threw aside his rifle and jumped two feet toward the solid rubbish. As Lawrence sank, Gerald moved back to aid him. He reached into the mire, grasped Lawrence’s hair, and lifted his head above the surface. Lawrence began thrashing and sank again. Gerald once more drew him to the surface. He pulled Lawrence three feet toward the solid rubbish, urging him to drop his rifle and remain calm. Lawrence released his rifle and grasped Gerald by the shoulders, forcing him under the mire. Gerald broke free and returned to the surface. He took hold of Lawrence and by bobbing up and down moved him to within two feet of a large coral rock at the edge of the solid rubbish. As Lawrence grasped the rock, Gerald pushed him from behind, enabling him to climb out of the mire. Lawrence, bleeding from cuts, looked back and saw only bubbles at the surface of the mire three feet from the rock. Shouting for help, he extended his feet into the mire and probed for Gerald without success. Another youth arrived and held the hands of Lawrence as he entered the mire and probed with his feet but was unable to find Thuermer. A rescue squad later recovered the body of Thuermer.
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