Jeffrey M. Spruill died attempting to save Georgios Drakontaidis from drowning, Virginia Beach, Virginia, January 26, 1994. From a motor launch, Drakontaidis, 36, was boarding a ship, anchored off Cape Henry near the entrance to Chesapeake Bay, when he fell from the ship’s accommodation ladder into the water. Spruill, 20, the launch mate, threw a life ring toward Drakontaidis, but he failed to grasp it. Over the next few minutes, Spruill and the launch master effected other rescue attempts from aboard the vessel, but Drakontaidis was immobilized by the frigid water. Spruill then jumped overboard, swam 75 feet to Drakontaidis, and applied a lifesaving hold to him. The launch master deployed two life rafts, but when Spruill reached for them, he and Drakontaidis submerged. When they surfaced, Spruill was still holding Drakontaidis. After another effort by the launch master to direct the rafts to Spruill, the launch master himself entered the water and swam to the men, but by then they had submerged a final time. Neither was recovered.
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