John E. Schmidt, 16, schoolboy, saved John Malinofsky, 44, service station owner, from drowning, Mammoth, California, August 21, 1964. Malinofsky was fishing a 125 feet from the bank of Lake Virginia when his inflated rubber raft exploded, throwing him into deep water which was very cold. Submerging intermittently, he called for help as he moved 25 feet toward the bank. Schmidt ran 450 feet to the water’s edge opposite Malinofsky, where several youths and two men had gathered. By then Malinofsky was tiring rapidly, and his calls for help were becoming weaker. Schmidt, removing only his boots and shirt, waded into the lake. Breathing with difficulty because of the cold water, he swam to near Malinofsky, who was flailing wildly and choking from water he had swallowed. Schmidt approached with caution and reached Malinofsky in water 15 feet deep 100 feet from the bank. Malinofsky outweighed Schmidt, who obtained a hold across his chest and began towing him toward the bank. Schmidt’s muscles tightened in the cold water, and 50 feet from the bank he called for a rope. Others threw a rope toward him, but it landed short. Thirty feet from the bank Schmidt, gasping for breath, swallowed some water. He continued towing Malinofsky to within 15 feet of the bank. The men then succeeded in throwing the rope to Schmidt. He and Malinofsky were pulled to wadable water.
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