James J. Bolger saved Jack T. Rochette from drowning following a shark attack, San Francisco, California, January 11, 1964. While scuba diving 1,000 feet from shore in water 65 feet deep in the Pacific Ocean, Rochette, 21, meter reader, was attacked by a shark, its jaws seizing both of his legs at the thighs. The shark, which was about 22 feet long, was seen as it flipped upward and broke the surface of the water 325 feet from an anchored fishing boat containing Bolger, 40, automotive machinist, and 16 others. The shark released Rochette, who rose to the surface face down with only his air tanks above water and swam in a circle in order to watch the shark as it maneuvered directly below him. Rochette’s wounds were bleeding profusely. Bolger dived into the water clad in a rubber diving suit, which made surface swimming difficult. He swam 325 feet through swells two to three feet high to Rochette, who was greatly weakened from loss of blood but still was face down and watching the circling shark. As Bolger took hold of the straps of Rochette’s air tanks, the shark swam upward toward them. Rochette struck the shark between the eyes with his spear gun, and it veered away. Alternately pushing Rochette and swimming to him, Bolger moved him to within 40 feet of the boat and by that time was very tired and badly winded. A rope was thrown to Bolger and they were pulled to the boat and aided aboard. Rochette recovered.
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