John C. Chappell saved Damian A. Chester from drowning, Del City, Oklahoma, June 14, 1992. Damian, 9, fell into swiftly moving Cherry Creek, which was swollen from recent rains, and, unable to leave the creek, he shouted for help as he was swept downstream. Chappell, 28, college student, who lived near the creek, was alerted to the situation. He ran along the concrete channel that contained the creek in that vicinity until he reached a point on the bank ahead of Damian. Positioning himself at the water line on the sloped wall of the channel, Chappell reached out and grasped Damian when theboy approached, but he was unable to pull him out of the creek because of the force of the current. Maintaining his hold on Damian, Chappell then entered the water and was immediately knocked off his feet and carried downstream. He and Damian were swept by the current about 400 feet, to where Chappell manuevered them to one of the concrete supports of a bridge that spanned the creek. Straddling the support and grasping it with one hand, Chappell held to Damian with the other as they awaited help. Firefighters who responded shortly rescued Damian with the aid of ropes, and Chappell himself then left the creek. Both he and Damian sustained scratches, and they recovered.
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