Lawrence Roy Collins saved Fernando A. Hernandez, Jr., from drowning, Rancho Palos Verdes, California, November 28, 1982. Hernandez, 24, was stranded in deep water of the Pacific Ocean about 200 feet from shore after a large wave washed him from a reef on which he had been fishing. Collins, 22, firefighter, ran to the reef, which was being pounded by 10-foot-high breakers, and jumped into the water. He swam to Hernandez and secured a small metal buoy around him, then swam to a point about 50 feet from the reef. Other firemen threw a rope to Collins, who helped to guide himself and Hernandez through the breakers to the reef, the sides of which were of jagged rock and coral outcroppings. Hernandez and Collins were helped onto the reef by the firemen. Both were treated for cuts, bruises, and hypothermia, and they recovered.
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