Justin D. Dunham saved Robert K. Massie from drowning, Nantucket, Massachusetts, September 3, 2004. While in wadable water of the Atlantic Ocean, Massie, 48, stepped from a drop-off into water over his depth and was carried from shore by a strong current. Unable to return against the current, Massie signaled to persons on the beach for help; those who attempted a rescue were thwarted by rough water conditions, including high breakers, and others who were asked to help refused, citing same. Dunham, 18, college student, was on the beach, having earlier concluded that the ocean was too rough for surfing. When alerted to Massie’s situation, he immediately ran into the water with his 62-inch surfboard and, penetrating the breakers, paddled out to Massie, then about 300 feet from shore. He positioned Massie on his board and, joining him there, began kicking and paddling a return. En route to shore, they were knocked from the surfboard and submerged a few times by waves, and the board once hit Dunham in the head, inflicting a welt. They safely reached the beach, where Massie was examined by rescue personnel. He was uninjured.
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