Patrick Kevin Verdeur helped to save James P. Lawver from drowning, Avon, North Carolina, August 8, 2004. Lawver, 43, was swimming in shallow water of the Atlantic Ocean with his teenage son when they were caught by a current and swept far out, into deeper water. They shouted for help as they struggled to remain afloat. Verdeur, 21, automotive technician, was on the beach in the vicinity with his brother and another man. Despite rough surf conditions, including high breakers, that were the result of a hurricane passing days earlier, Verdeur entered the water and swam to Lawver and his son, who were then about 300 feet from shore. Lawver was submerged, supporting his son. Verdeur secured a hold on Lawver as his brother, who also had entered the water, grasped the son. Holding Lawver around the chest, Verdeur started back toward shore, the current forcing them on a diagonal course. The other man also had entered the water and joined him in grasping Lawver, whose being inert bogged them beneath the surface. Verdeur and the other man returned Lawver to shore and aided him to safety as did Verdeur’s brother, with Lawver’s son. Lawver and his son were taken to the hospital, where they were treated for effects of their ordeal; they recovered. Verdeur was tired, but he too recovered.
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