Jerome Lee saved Elizabeth A. Harris from drowning, Hamilton, Illinois, July 1, 2001. Ms. Harris, 35, struggled to stay afloat in the Mississippi River after entering the water for her daughter, who had fallen into the river from a boat launch. Both were carried away by the swift current, the daughter to a point from which she was rescued by others and Ms. Harris to a point about 150 feet from the bank. Alerted to the situation, Lee, 25, electrician, responded to the scene. He immediately entered the river and swam out to Ms. Harris, then grasped her and started to swim, against the current, back to the bank. The current carried them farther downstream, and rough water swamped them. As Lee neared the bank, two men waded out to meet them and took Ms. Harris from the river, Lee then exiting on his own. Ms. Harris and her daughter required hospital treatment for effects of their ordeal. Lee was winded and had cramping in his legs. He was examined at the scene, and he recovered a few hours later.
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