Mary L. Buckles, 14, schoolgirl, helped to save Lorena P. Fornell, 73, from drowning, New Port Richey, Florida, September 1, 1966. Mrs. Fornell, who could not swim, lost her footing atop the steep bank of a pond in which alligators and poisonous snakes from a nearby swamp had been seen. She fell into water 15 feet deep and drifted to 20 feet from the bank, where she was submerged briefly twice and then called for help. Mary and her 13-year-old sister Tanja ran 60 feet from their home to the bank of the pond opposite Mrs. Fornell, who had swallowed some water and was floundering. Mary dived into the pond, and Tanja followed. Each lost her slippers. Mary swam 18 feet to Mrs. Fornell, who had started to submerge again, and took hold of her. Tanja arrived and also obtained a hold on Mrs. Fornell. Together the girls towed her 20 feet to the bank. They were unable to remove her from the water because the bank was too steep and slippery. Mary and Tanja supported Mrs. Fornell for five minutes until a man arrived and helped remove her from the water.
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