Henry J. Leblanc helped to save Robert G. Nault from drowning, Ottawa, Ontario, July 15, 1962. Nault, 31, laborer, who could not swim, fell from a raft into water 15 feet deep in a hydroelectric channel and was submerged. Leblanc, 48, carpentry foreman, jumped into the water, swam to Nault, and drew him to the surface. Nault struggled violently with Leblanc as the very swift current carried them 100 feet and into deeper water in a covered flume which had only one foot of clearance between the water and the roof. Nault remained passive as they were swept 300 feet through the flume but then resumed his struggles with Leblanc, causing both to be submerged a number of times. A hundred feet feet beyond the flume, Leblanc succeeded in pinning Nault’s arms to his sides. He then held Nault between his legs as they were carried 100 feet farther to the end of the channel, where the pressure of the current held them forcibly against the metal grating of the generator station. Leblanc’s head was above water, but Nault was beneath the surface. Leblanc called to men on the station platform nine feet above the water, telling them that he and Nault could not free themselves from the grating, against which logs and debris also were being held by the water pressure. John B. J. Vautour, with a rope tied around his waist and held by the other men, climbed crown the grating. He submerged four feet, freed Leblanc’s feet from the grating with difficulty, and surfaced with him. While others aided Leblanc onto the platform, Vautour submerged to Nault, who was unconscious 16 feet below the surface. He attempted to pull Nault away from the grating, but the water pressure was too great. After surfacing briefly for air, Vautour forced his body between Nault and the grating. Aided by the men pulling on the rope, Vautour then ascended along the grating with Nault and reached the surface. Nault was revived and recovered. Leblanc had sustained a fractured cheekbone which severed a blood vessel. He recovered after undergoing operations.
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