Peter Darnell Wilson aged twelve, schoolboy, saved an unidentified man aged about forty, from drowning, Wilmington, North Carolina, December 6, 1964. When his motorboat was swamped in the Cape Fear River, the man flailed wildly and called for help as the current carried him slowly downstream in deep water 30 feet from a sea wall along the bank. Darnell and three other boys saw the man struggling to stay afloat but being submerged intermittently. Darnell, 12, schoolboy, who suffered from asthma and was small for his age, ran 120 feet to a boat slip in the sea wall opposite the man. He removed his coat and sweater but did not delay further to take off his ankle-high boots. Darnell jumped downward onto the deck of a pilot boat moored in the slip and dived from it into the water. He swam 50 feet to behind the man, who weighed more than twice as much as he. The man still was flailing wildly. With difficulty Darnell swam against the current and used his shoulder to push the man ahead of him for 10 feet to a boat anchored in the river. The man nearly was exhausted but was able to climb into the craft with Darnell’s aid. Darnell also climbed aboard. A policeman arrived and by means of the pilot boat brough Darnell and the man to the bank.
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