John C. Hancock saved Stewart B. Spradley, Jr., and Joyce Spradley from drowning, Fort Morgan, Alabama, May 7, 1967. While swimming in the Gulf of Mexico, Mrs. Spradley, 32, was caught by an undertow and carried beyond a line of breakers into deep water, where she floundered and called for help. Her son Stewart, 9, swam to near her but then also floundered. Hancock, 39, electronics technician, waded into the water, swam through erratic waves and the breaker line, and reached Stewart 100 feet from shore. After towing Stewart to a man in wadable water, Hancock started to Mrs. Spradley, who also was 100 feet from the beach. By the time he reached her, Hancock was tiring. Mrs. Spradley was able to give little assistance as Hancock towed her 50 feet toward shore. In passing through the breaker line, they became separated. Each then was washed shoreward by the erratic wave action. Hancock and Mrs. Spradley were very tired when they reached wadable water, from where they were aided to the beach.
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