Miranda A. Elkins saved Hedilberto Martinez, Jr., and helped attempt to save Robert Diaz from drowning, South Padre Island, Texas, August 20, 2004. Martinez, 18, was swimming in the Gulf of Mexico when he was carried away from shore by a strong current. Unable to return against the current to shore, he called for help. On the beach in that vicinity, Diaz, 46, and Elkins, 22, college student, were among those alerted to his plight. Diaz entered the water and waded and swam to Martinez, then grasped him. Elkins also swam out to him. After Martinez grasped Elkins and submerged her, Elkins surfaced and talked to him, to calm him. On her direction, he then held to her as she swam toward shore. As it was a windy day, their progress was hampered by rough water and the current. They reached shore safely. Diaz, meanwhile, also encountered difficulty in the water. Elkins and three others swam out to him, finding him floating face down. They returned him to shore and attempted to revive him. He was removed to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead of drowning. Neither Martinez nor Elkins was injured.
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