Lois J. Kenezka attempted to save Dorothea Kempa from drowning, Great Falls, Montana, October 30, 1963. Mrs. Kempa, 28, who could not swim, descended a very steep bank of the Missouri River to obtain some driftwood at the bottom. When she fell into the water and was carried away from the bank by the current, she was unable to help herself. Mrs. Kenczka, 28, homemaker, who just had recovered from illness, obtained a 12-foot chain from her automobile, made her way 30 feet down the bank, and waded two feet into the river. She stepped into deep water, was submerged briefly, and lost her hold on the chain. Although heavily clothed, Mrs. Kenczka swam 55 feet and reached Mrs. Kempa 25 feet from the bank in water 10 feet deep. Mrs. Kempa was floating in an upright position as Mrs. Kenczka tried without success to turn her around and then to lift her to a prone position in order to tow her. By the time they had drifted 30 feet downstream, Mrs. Kenczka nearly was exhausted by her efforts to aid Mrs. Kempa, whose water-soaked clothing added greatly to her weight. Realizing that she was unable to complete the rescue, Mrs. Kenczka swam alone 30 feet to the bank, being submerged briefly three times before reaching it with much effort. She grasped protecting rocks and made her way along a small underwater ledge to several men who had descended to the water’s edge. They aided her up the steep bank. A rescue crew later recovered Mrs. Kempa’s body.
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