Lukas C. Dunkin saved Robert L. Justice, Jr., from drowning, Elgin, Alabama, October 26, 2001. Justice, 58, and another man were fishing from a boat in Wilson Lake near a hydroelectric dam. Strong winds against the lake’s swift current caused rough water that capsized their craft and threw them into the lake at a point about 1,800 feet from the closer bank. Fishing the calmer waters of a protected harbor along that bank, Dunkin, 18, college student, heard Justice shout for help. Although his bass boat was not intended for conditions of the type, Dunkin took it from the harbor and over the course of several minutes responded cautiously through the five-foot-waves to the scene. Dunkin neared Justice but was forced to circle him repeatedly out of the fear of striking him with his boat. Failing to secure Justice by rope, Dunkin positioned his boat alongside him, then, leaving the boat’s controls for the bow deck, Dunkin, with difficulty, hauled Justice aboard. Dunkin then returned his boat to the bank, Justice nearly unconscious atop the bow deck. Justice was taken to the hospital, where he was treated for hypothermia. He recovered. His friend’s body was recovered from the lake later that day.
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