Joseph R. Dowdy died after helping to save James H. Neurohr from drowning, Clearwater, Florida, April 10, 1996. James, 10, was swimming in the Gulf of Mexico off Clearwater Beach when he was pulled by the current into an area where swimming was not safe. His grandfather, Dowdy, 75, retired teacher and coach, entered the water and waded out to him. They held onto each other as the current continued to pull them away from the swimming area. A wave broke over them, separating them. James made his way to a jetty and climbed from the water, but Dowdy was swept farther into the gulf. Other men, including a lifeguard, arrived and recovered Dowdy, but he could not be revived.
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