Philip A. Ramsay helped to save Joseph E. Wightman from drowning, Waltham, Massachusetts, December 11, 1960. While skating at Purgatory Cove, Joseph, 11, failed to notice a hole in the ice 200 feet from the bank and fell into water five feet deep above fluid silt three feet deep, where he struggled to stay afloat as he called for help. Ramsay, 18, schoolboy, John R. Hansen, and others at the cove skated toward the hole, which by then had been enlarged to 20 feet in diameter by Joseph’s efforts to support himself at the edges. Joseph was floundering weakly as he alternately sank and rose. While the others remained back from the hole, Ramsay and Hansen each moved independently to different points 13 feet from it. After Ramsay had taken off only one skate, he saw Joseph disappear beneath the surface and at once crawled five feet toward the hole. The ice gave way under him, and he then with his fists broke a path the rest of the way to the open water. Ramsay swam 10 feet to where Joseph’s cap was floating at the surface. Meanwhile, Hansen after removing his skates crawled toward the open water, broke through the ice, and then made another path to the hole. The cold water caused Ramsay and Hansen to gasp for breath. At the center of the hole Ramsay reached beneath the surface and grasped Joseph, who was inert. He drew Joseph to the surface as Hansen swam to them and also took hold of Joseph. Impeded by their heavy attire Ramsay and Hansen towed Joseph to where a man had crawled to near the edge of the hole on firm ice. Ramsay and Hansen lifted Joseph onto the ice. As the man drew Joseph farther away and then revived him, Ramsay and Hansen also got out of the hole and returned to the bank.
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