James W. Stone, Jr., 33, tiler, saved M. Evelyn Josey, 12, and died assisting in an attempt to save A. Iola Josey, 20, from drowning, Daytona Beach, Florida, June 6, 1948. While Evelyn, who could not swim, and her sister Iola, who was a poor swimmer, were bathing in rough surf in the Atlantic Ocean, Evelyn was swept off her feet and drifted seaward in a strong undertow to a point 175 feet from shore, 12 feet from where Stone was bathing. There were breakers three to three and a half feet high, and a fairly strong undercurrent moved parallel to shore. At Evelyn’s call for help Stone swam to her and towed her 50 feet toward shore, from where she waded in with aid from another girl. Iola meanwhile also was caught in the rough surf and currents and drifted farther from shore, calling for help. A brother of Iola reached her, but the currents carried them into deeper water. Stone waded 25 feet and swam 75 feet to them, taking hold of Iola. All three were submerged briefly by a breaker, the men losing their holds on Iola and drifting 10 feet from her. They swam back to her, regaining their holds, and all were submerged again. Stone rose holding her. Her brother, who was nauseated and weak, returned to shore. As Stone and Iola drifted together 70 feet, Miles E. McKathan ran to the water, waded 200 feet, and swam 100 feet to them. Stone sank and did not reappear. McKathan and Iola were submerged twice before he got a secure hold on her hair. He attempted to tow her toward shore, but they drifted 60 feet, waves several times breaking over them. As they again were submerged, he lost his hold on her and rose; but she did not reappear. Having become badly winded and believing she had drowned, McKathan swam 150 feet with great effort toward shore and waded in. Stone and Iola drowned. Evelyn was ill but recovered.
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