John Samuel Montegna saved Amber D. Blankenship from drowning, Maupin, Oregon, May 21, 1989. Amber, 9, slipped on the bank and fell into the rough water of a cove of the Deschutes River. She submerged and was carried away from the bank. Fishing nearby, Montegna, 43, well driller, immediately jumped fully clothed into the river, which was cold and flowing swiftly, and submerged twice in attempts to locate her. Unable to find her, he turned back toward the bank, then was alerted that Amber had surfaced behind him. Montegna turned and swam to Amber, then grasped her and took her to the bank. He handed Amber, who was not breathing, to others, who revived her. Breathless, Montegna had to be helped from the water. He sustained strained back muscles, and both he and Amber recovered.
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