Jimmy Randolph Layne, 17, schoolboy, died helping to save Richard L. Hockersmith, 6, from drowning, Dorena, Missouri, July 4, 1966. When the boat in which they were riding overturned in a back channel of the Mississippi River 110 feet from the bank, Richard and his sister threw their arms around their father’s neck, causing all to be submerged in water 15 feet deep. The father tried to move to the overturned boat 10 feet away but could not do so, and all struggled to stay afloat. Layne waded 30 feet and swam 80 feet to them. He pulled Richard from his father. Richard immediately threw both arms around Layne’s neck, causing them to be submerged briefly twice. The father towed his daughter to the boat. Layne moved Richard onto his back. With Richard still holding him around the neck, Layne swam 50 feet toward the bank. He was submerged briefly again and then trod water very feebly. Miss Connie Marie Sorrells waded and swam 60 feet to Layne. As Layne began to submerge again, Miss Sorrells pulled Richard from him, enabling Layne to lift his face above the surface. While Miss Sorrells was towing Richard 15 feet farther toward the bank, Layne sank again and remained submerged. Richard climbed onto Miss Sorrells, causing her to be submerged briefly twice. By then she was so nearly exhausted that she barely could tread water. Richard’s mother reached them and took Richard to the bank. Miss Sorrells, too fatigued to swim floated on her back. Some persons aided her to wadable water while others pushed the overturned boat and those clinging to it to the bank. The body of Layne later was recovered.
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