Michael B. Nelson, 15, schoolboy, saved Roger H. Verworn and Darrell B. Ziesemer, 13 and 11, respectively, schoolboys, from drowning, Milltown, Montana, June 11, 1959. Roger and Darrell were playing on a raft which was caught by the swift current in the rain-swollen Blackfoot River, carried rapidly downstream, and became lodged against accumulated debris atop a submerged pier 25 feet from the bank. Roger, a poor swimmer, fell from the raft and began drifting downstream, calling for help and being submerged intermittently. Darrell, who could not swim, remained on the raft and also called for help. Michael ran 300 feet to the water’s edge, jumped into the cold water fully clothed, and swam 25 feet to where Roger had disappeared beneath the surface in water 20 feet deep. Submerging himself in the muddy water, Michael located Roger and surfaced with him. With effort Michael towed Roger forty feet diagonally across the current to the bank. Michael then ran 300 feet to a dwelling, obtained a 30-foot rope, and carried it to the bank opposite the raft. He threw one end of the rope to Darrell, who tied it to the raft. While a young boy and two women held the other end of the rope on the bank, Michael ran 1200 feet upstream to where a rowboat was tied. Using a board for an oar, Michael proceeded downstream in the boat, which also struck the debris atop the pier. Michael pushed the rowboat free and swung it alongside the raft. After helping Darrell aboard, Michael pulled the boat along the rope extending from the raft to the bank.
44841 – 429644841-4296