Milton W. Odell saved Henry J. Spellman from drowning, Winton, Washington, June 14, 1961. Henry, 9, and his brothers, 13 and 16, jumped from a raft being carried downstream in the Wenatchee River and started to swim to the bank 220 feet away. Henry, a poor swimmer, grasped first one brother and the other as they tried in vain to tow him across the current. The oldest brother called for help and then swam alone toward a group of partially submerged rocks extending 110 feet from the bank. Odell, 46, electrician foreman, undressed to his undershorts, entered the very cold water, and swam to Henry and his brother. Releasing his brother, who then swam toward the rocks, Henry climbed onto Odell’s shoulders and caused him to be submerged briefly in water 12 feet deep. Odell freed himself and began to tow Henry toward the rocks, which the two brothers had reached. Henry struggled with Odell, who continued towing him although his legs began to stiffen as he weakened rapidly in the cold water. With his hand throbbing painfully, he swan to within 50 feet of the rocks, where Henry’s struggles again caused him to dip briefly beneath the surface. With difficulty Odell swam 35 feet farther. He then attempted to thrust Henry to his brothers but lacked strength to do so. With extreme effort Odell towed Henry to within reach of his brothers who drew Henry onto the rocks. Odell also climbed onto the rocks, from which all waded to the bank.
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