John W. Maiden helped to save Pauline E. Porz from drowning, Vermilion, Ohio, July 5, 1969. In very swift current in the flooded Vermilion River, Mrs. Porz, 48, lost control of her cabin cruiser; and she suffered a back injury when the craft was damaged by being swept under a bridge which was only five feet above the water. Maiden, 47, design draftsman, and two other men in a 15-foot racing boat with an outboard motor started after the drifting cruiser, fearing that Mrs. Porz would be drowned when the craft reached a bridge farther downstream with only one foot of clearance. Dodging much debris, the pilot moved the boat into deep water at midstream and overtook the larger craft. He turned the boat into the current and maneuvered it so that the pointed bow was against the cruiser’s stern. By prodding the cruiser, the pilot made a crack in its stern; and by inserting the bow of his boat, he was better able to control the cruiser. Mrs. Porz was lying on the deck of the cockpit. One of the other men, a salesman, climbed onto the forward deck of the racing- boat and thence into the cruiser’s cockpit. The pilot then disengaged his boat and moved to alongside the larger craft. Maiden grasped the cruiser and held it against the racing boat. The salesman then lifted Mrs. Porz to the gunwale. Holding the cruiser with one hand, Maiden pulled Mrs. Porz into the racing boat. Both boats were within 1,200 feet of the low bridge. After the salesman had climbed into the racing boat, Maiden released his hold on the cruiser; and it was carried to the low bridge, where it capsized and sank. With four persons aboard, the racing boat had freeboard of only about 13 inches as the pilot moved it to an area from where Mrs. Porz was taken to a hospital for treatment of her back injury.
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