Lawrance R. Ransom helped to save Clarence P. Bartley from drowning, Glennallen, Alaska, September 10, 1995. Bartley, 67, was the pilot of a float plane that overturned while attempting to take off from Tazlina Lake. The plane’s floats remained at the surface of the water, and he awaited help atop them for several hours. Among those alerted to his plight were two men who responded in a helicopter. As they attempted a rescue, the helicopter crashed into the water and sank, but the men pulled themselves onto the floats of Bartley’s plane. Ransom, 41, hatchery manager, was the passenger of a float plane that, having responded also, was circling the scene; he and the pilot saw the helicopter crash. Despite a strong, steady wind of 30 m.p.h. and rough seas to four feet, conditions that otherwise would have precluded an attempt to land, the pilot took his plane to a hard but safe landing on the lake. He taxied his plane to the three men in the water and held it into the wind while Ransom disembarked to one of its floats to help secure Bartley. With difficulty, Ransom and the two other men maneuvered Bartley, who was incapacitated, into the plane. When all of the men were aboard, the pilot taxied to shore two miles away, not willing to attempt takeoff from the lake under prevailing conditions. A military helicopter arrived shortly and evacuated Bartley and one of the other men. Bartley was hospitalized for treatment of hypothermia and other injury, and he recovered. Although one of his plane’s floats had been damaged in the rescue, the pilot took off from a cove that offered some protection and returned, with Ransom and the other man, to safety.
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