Perry C. Courter, Sr., saved Robert Karichner from drowning, Lock Haven, Pennsylvania, February 10, 1965. While walking on an ice-covered water storage basin, Robert, 5, broke through 50 feet from the bank, was submerged briefly in water eight feet deep, and called for help. Courter, 22, lathe operator, was attracted and ran to the bank. Robert sank again. Although he could not swim, Courter started across the ice toward Robert. He broke through 40 feet from the bank and was submerged briefly. Buoyed somewhat by air in his clothing, Courter flailed his arms and made his way to Robert, who had risen to the surface. Courter took hold of Robert and held his head above water while clinging to the edge of the hole. Others arrived. Several men broke open a locked gate in a fence around a pier which extended to within 10 feet of Courter. From the end of the pier a man threw a rope to Courter, who still supported Robert. When the men pulled on the rope, the ice broke. Courter maintained his holds as he and Robert sank. The men drew them, to the surface and tried to pull them onto the ice, which broke again. On the next attempt, the ice broke from the hole almost to the end of the pier, and Courter and Robert once more sank briefly. Courter retained his holds, and the men drew him and Robert to the pier. After Courter had lifted Robert upward to one of the men, the others aided him onto the pier, where he collapsed. Robert and Courter were removed to a hospital and recovered.
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