James Cecil Wiggins, Jr., saved Murdock C. Jenkins from drowning, Fort White, Florida, September 3, 1967. Jenkins, 29, automobile service supervisor, and Wiggins, 16, schoolboy, were scuba diving in a deep spring and were making their way through a corridor of an underwater cave when Jenkins became stuck in a low section 15 feet from where the main shaft of the spring rose 50 feet to the surface. In his efforts to free himself he sustained head abrasions, lost the mouthpiece of his breathing apparatus, and became unconscious. With visibility nil, Wiggins approached with an underwater torch, and noted the situation. He twice attempted to give his own mouthpiece to Jenkins to provide him with air. Jenkins floated free of his wedged position but remained inert and did not take the oxygen. Wiggins replaced his mouthpiece and moved to ahead of Jenkins, who outweighed him by 75 pounds. He pulled Jenkins through the low point and towed him toward the main shaft of the spring. To secure more buoyancy, Wiggins discarded his weight belt and torch. When he reached the main shaft, which was generally 60 feet in diameter, Wiggins activated an inflatable life jacket which Jenkins was wearing. Hugging Jenkins tightly to squeeze air from his lungs and keep them from possible rupture, Wiggins quickly swam to the surface, aided by the current surging upward from underground channels. Jenkins was re- moved from the water and revived.
49861 – 541349861-5413