Nolten A. Hildebrand, Jr., helped to save Charles F. Roundtree, Jr., from drowning, Columbia, South Carolina, March 17, 1964. When part of a bridge under construction collapsed into the Broad River, Roundtree, 26, construction laborer, who could not swim, fell into water 13 feet deep 300 feet from the nearest bank. He surfaced near Calvin E. Garrett, who had jumped from his crane on the bridge when the accident occurred. Garrett grasped a log amid much floating debris which had resulted from heavy rains and was swept downstream ahead of Roundtree, who floundered and was submerged intermittently. Hildebrand, 31, construction foreman, undressed to his underwear and dived from the bridge into the water 12 feet below. He swam 250 feet, twice submerging to avoid drifting logs, and reached Roundtree. Hildebrand took hold of Roundtree and started to tow him toward the bank but made no appreciable progress because of the strong current. He and Roundtree grasped a log and clung to it. Noah W. Young and Tessie Mackey launched a 12 foot rowboat which was in poor condition. Using boards for oars, they maneuvered the craft amid the debris, which several times struck the boat and once tilted it. They proceeded 2,200 feet downstream and overtook Hildebrand and Roundtree. After boosting Roundtree into the boat, Hildebrand, rather than overload the craft, swam with effort to the bank. Garrett meanwhile had been moving slowly toward the bank, still clinging to the log. Fearing Garrett might be carried over a dam downstream, Young and Mackey maneuvered the boat to try to overtake him as Roundtree aided by paddling with his hands. They proceeded 1,500 feet and reached Garrett 150 feet from the bank. Garrett was aided into the boat, which the men guided 500 feet diagonally across the current to the bank.
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