Paul R. Receputo saved Daniel J. MacDonald from drowning, Nahant, Massachusetts, July 24, 1963. At a beach in a cove of Massachusetts Bay, Daniel, 8, a poor swimmer, was submerged by a breaker and carried away from shore in very rough surf. As he was swept toward steep rocks at another side of the cove, he swallowed considerable water and lost consciousness. Receputo, 23, unemployed, was atop the rocks and saw Daniel face down in the water. He made his way to a ledge at the end of a rock projection which extended 35 feet into the cove, removed his shirt and shoes, and then lunged into the water. With effort he swam 100 feet across a very strong undercurrent and through breakers four to five feet high, reaching Daniel in water 20 feet deep. He drew Daniel onto his back and towed him 30 feet toward the rock projection as the breakers at times submerged them briefly. By then Receputo’s arms were very tired. He clasped Daniel to his chest, floated on his back, and by using only his legs swam 20 feet farther with much effort. By that time his legs also were fatigued. He trod water supporting Daniel, his efforts causing him to dip beneath the surface and take in water. A youth who was a good swimmer then reached them on a surfboard. He and Receputo placed Daniel on the board and held him there as they swam 50 feet to near the rock projection, where four men had descended onto the ledge. A breaker nearly swept Daniel off the board, and another then raised them alongside the ledge. Receputo and the youth thrust Daniel to one of the men and then were swept away from the rocks. Receputo released the surfboard and, after one unsuccessful attempt, climbed onto the ledge, nearly exhausted. The youth paddled the surfboard back to the beach. Daniel was revived and recovered.
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