Leonard Nelson Smith saved William K. O’Reilly from drowning, Saratoga Springs, New York, July 10, 1960. While swimming in Fish Creek, O’Reilly, 18, service station attendant, played out and called for help 1,300 feet from the bank in water 25 feet deep. Smith, 18, schoolboy, who had but 40 percent normal muscle in his limbs and could swim only by kicking his legs swam 200 feet to O’Reilly and attempted to take hold of him. O’Reilly struggled and grasped Smith’s shoulders, causing both youths to be submerged briefly. Smith broke free and, despite limited use of his hands secured a hold on O’Reilly’s trunks. Pushing O’Reilly ahead of him over a zigzag course, Smith swam toward pilings of an abandoned railroad trestle 1,000 feet away. O’Reilly again struggled with Smith, and both were submerged briefly a second time. Maintaining his hold although his head clipped beneath the water several times as O’Reilly flailed his arms, Smith with effort moved O’Reilly to a piling of the trestle, from where they reached the bank with the aid of a man who arrived in a boat.
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