John A. Lais died attempting to help save a boy from drowning, Emerald Isle, North Carolina, August 20, 2011. A 9-year-old boy was playing in the Atlantic Ocean just off the beach when he began to drift farther from shore. The boy’s grandfather, Lais, 59, pipe fitter and draftsman, and his wife immediately responded, Lais from a house about 200 feet away and his wife from a point on the beach at the scene. Lais’s wife entered the water and began to swim toward the boy, as did Lais’s son, who also responded from the beach house. They reached the boy at a point about 100 feet from shore as Lais arrived at the scene, partially disrobed, and swam out toward them. He experienced difficulty in the breaking waves as his wife and son took the boy to shore. En route, his wife encountered Lais, who was exhausted. He submerged, and his wife was unsuccessful in her attempt to aid him. The others reached shore safely, but Lais, who was recovered shortly, was unresponsive. He was taken to the hospital but could not be revived, as he had drowned.
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