Kelly L. Hughes, Jr., 35, carpenter, attempted to save Philip D. Ballard, 18, poultry processor, and Bobby D. Johnson, 27, circuit clerk, from drowning, Batesville, Arkansas, March 30, 1958. While Ballard and another man were riding with Johnson in his outboard motorboat in the White River, a connecting rod broke; and the craft began to drift with the strong current toward a dam seven feet high below which the water was 20 feet deep and extremely turbulent. Three hundred feet from the dam, the other man dived overboard and swam with difficulty to the nearest bank 200 feet away as Johnson tried without success to restart the motor. A hundred feet from the dam Johnson also dived overboard and began swimming toward the bank. At Ballard’s plea that he needed aid because he could not swim, Johnson swam back and grasped the stern of the boat, which then was 40 feet from the dam. Ballard attempted to help Johnson aboard, causing the stern to be submerged. Meanwhile Hughes, who had been attracted while farther upstream, had piloted his 12-foot out-board motorboat to within 30 feet of the dam to try to give assistance. He then turned the boat parallel to the crest of the dam and proceeded toward Johnson’s boat. As his craft passed just behind the partially submerged boat, Hughes extended his hand but could not reach Ballard or Johnson. Twelve feet from the crest of the dam Hughes tried to turn his boat upstream, but the motor stalled. The two boats with the three men plunged over the dam into the turbulent water. Johnson’s boat sank immediately, and Ballard remained submerged. Johnson surfaced twice and then did not appear again. The other boat, which was equipped with air tanks, did not sink. After passing through the turbulent area, Hughes paddled the craft to the bank a half a mile downstream. He suffered no lasting ill effects.
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