Paul R. Jones attempted to save John W. Mattison from suffocation, Jacksonville Florida, April 4, 1961. While working inside a steel tank eight feet high and 43 inches in diameter which earlier had been drained of coffee extract that left heavy fumes, Mattison, 36, maintenance mechanic, lost consciousness due to insufficient oxygen. Another mechanic working on a platform surrounding the tank was too large to get through the 17-inch manhole in the top. Jones, 20, rework handler, arrived and lowered himself into the tank by means of a rope attached to a nearby pipe. Keeping his footing with difficulty on the rounded and slippery bottom of the tank, Jones lifted Mattison nearly erect. Although feeling weak and short of breath, Jones raised Mattison to within 10 inches of the extended hand of the other mechanic, who was reaching through the manhole. Jones then lost consciousness and slumped to the bottom of the tank with Mattison partially on top of him. Others arrived, including Ivery W. Elps, Jr. Holding his breath, Elps descended on the rope to the bottom of the tank and raised Mattison almost erect. He then was forced to breathe. Meanwhile some oxygen was being forced into the tank through a spigot in the bottom, and a small oxygen canister with the valve open was dropped in through the manhole. Elps raised Mattison to workmen who reached through the manhole and drew him from the tank. Gasping for breath, Elps inhaled oxygen from the canister before lifting Jones from the bottom of the tank. As he had done with Mattison, Elps heaved Jones upward to the two workmen, who then lifted him from the tank. Feeling himself becoming weak, Elps grasped the rope with both hands and managed to cling to it as the men drew him from the tank. Mattison and Jones were revived. Both recovered.
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