John Peter Cooney, 13, schoolboy, saved F. Kenneth Gagnon, 18, laborer, from drowning, Rockport, Massachusetts, August 14, 1965. When he attempted to swim across a water-filled pit 500 feet wide at an abandoned quarry, Gagnon became fatigued and called for help in deep water. John dived from a vertical wall of the pit into the water 10 feet below and swam 250 feet to Gagnon, who outweighed him by 60 pounds. John took hold of Gagnon, who was limp. Unable to obtain a chesthold on Gagnon because of his size, John grasped him by the hair and began towing him toward a steep rock pile at the end of the pit. John tried to keep Gagnon’s head above water, but it occasionally dipped beneath the surface. John’s arm began to ache from towing, and twice he almost lost his hold on Gagnon. With effort he towed Gagnon 220 feet to the rock pile. A man pulled Gagnon onto the rocks, and John climbed out of the water.
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