Leon W. Christ saved Dennis L. and Larry E. Paulson from drowning, Mankato, Minnesota, May 28, 1961. While attempting to swim across the Blue Earth River, Larry, 13, and two other boys got into trouble and called for help as the swift current carried them toward a dam over which the water fell three feet. Dennis, 14, swam to his brother Larry as one of the other boys succeeded in reaching the bank. Dennis and Larry held to each other and were submerged intermittently while the current carried them and the other boy nearer the dam. Christ, 24, student, ran 450 feet to the river, undressing to his underwear along the way, and entered the water. He swam 200 feet and reached Dennis and Larry, who then sank again in water 12 feet deep. Christ grasped Larry by the hair and lifted both boys, clinging to each others to the surface. With one arm around Dennis and Larry, Christ tried without success to swim toward the bank. The current carried all three through a broken-out portion of the dam, and they sustained cuts from steel reinforcing rods protruding from it. Christ surfaced still holding the boys and then towed them 160 feet to a submerged sand bar, where all found footing in wadable water. A man in a canoe aided in taking Larry and then Dennis to the bank. Already tired, Christ swam to where others had seen the other boy sink after being swept over the dam. Christ searched the area without success and then, nearly exhausted, left the water. The boy’s body later was recovered. Christ, Dennis, and Larry recovered.
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