Henry M. Morris, 27, carpenter, saved William Wheeler, 49, watchman, and four others from drowning, Weekapaug, Rhode Island, September 21, 1938. Wheeler and four other adults during a hurricane sought shelter in an inn that was on a narrow strip of land between Quonochontaug Pond and the Atlantic Ocean. Parts of the inn were wrecked by the wind, and waves cut a channel 75 feet wide between the pond and the ocean, isolating the inn. From the mainland at night Morris, two policemen, and two youths reached the channel, in which the water was eight to 10 feet deep and flowed toward the ocean at a speed of 8 to 10 m.p.h. Wheeler and his companions feared worse wind and water conditions and the complete wrecking of the inn. Morris removed his clothing except his trousers and jacket, and a loop that had been tied at the end of a rope was placed around his chest, a life preserver being at his back. He was advised what to do if he should be swept into the ocean. Morris then entered the channel and swam toward the opposite bank. After he had gone 30 feet, he was pulled under the surface, then was pulled back to the bank, where he removed his jacket. Entering the water again, he swam and drifted 112 feet to the opposite bank, men paying out the rope. He was winded and chilled. The rope was tied around the chest of one of the men also, and both were drawn back to the mainland. Removing his trousers, Morris made four additional trips across the channel and back, each time rescuing one person. He was submerged briefly on one of the trips, and on the last trip became exhausted and was aided from the water. He was struck by debris and suffered bruises.
37433 – 311937433-3119