John Di Silvestre, 34, construction worker, died attempting to save Lewis E. Robbins, Jr., 18, schoolboy, from drowning, Lorain, Ohio, August 2. 1966. In Lorain Harbor in Lake Erie, Robbins, Di Silvestre, and four other men were aboard a 15-foot sailboat when increasing wind before dawn indicated an approaching squall. Di Silvestre with the outboard motor operating started toward shore. At that time a strong gust of wind filled the sail and caused the boat to list sharply. Robbins shouted, and there was a splash. Visibility was poor, but the men saw Robbins flailing in the deep water. Di Silvestre maneuvered the boat to near Robbins and stopped the motor. The other men then shouted that Robbins had gone under. Di Silvestre, a good swimmer, said he would get Robbins and dived into the water fully clad. It began to rain, and the increasing wind moved the boat away. The other men tried in vain to lower the sail. They heard Di Silvestre shout that he had found Robbins. As the boat was carried farther away, one man started the motor but was unable to turn the craft because of the wind. The boat was carried 1,300 feet to a breakwall and the men telephoned the Coast Guard. Two boats searched the area without success. Dragging operations were begun, and the bodies of Robbins and Di Silvestre were recovered.
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