Paul L. Barnum saved Gary P. Swagler and attempted to save Bruce M. Swagler from drowning, East Rochester, New York, March 21, 1961. Gary, 7, and Bruce, 5, neither of whom could swim, walked onto an ice-covered lake and broke through into water seven feet deep 15 feet from the bank, where they flailed their arms to stay afloat. Barnum, 31, wholesale electrical parts salesman, a poor swimmer, ran 250 feet to the bank, removing his jacket along the way. Without delaying to remove any more of his attire, he broke a path in the ice as he waded and swam to the hole, which was three feet in diameter. Barnum grasped each boy with one am, but their combined weight caused all to be submerged. Unable to raise himself and the boys by leg thrusts, Barnum was forced to release Gary and Bruce and with effort struggled to the surface. After returning briefly to the bank to remove his shoes, Barnum waded and swam back to the hole, where both boys had sunk after surfacing briefly several times. Barnum submerged himself, located Gary, and brought him to the surface but was too winded to raise him fully from the water. With much effort Barnum towed Gary 10 feet and, nearly exhausted, could swim no farther. He found footing on the bottom in water to his shoulders and thrust Gary, who still was conscious, to a woman at the bank. Barnum, gasping for breath, climbed onto the bank as a man who was a fair swimmer arrived. Learning that Bruce still was submerged, the man waded and swam along the path in the ice to the hole. He located Bruce, who was unconscious, and towed him to the bank, where he was revived. Gary, Bruce, and Barnum recovered.
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