Ralph A. Refshaw died after helping to save Ellen M. Torgerson from drowning, Gonvick, Minnesota, July 21, 1963. With two girl friends and Ralph, 14, schoolboy, Ellen, 16, a poor swimmer, attempted to swim from shallow water in Pine Lake to a raft anchored in deep water. After swimming 75 feet, she became fatigued and sank in water 10 feet deep. By then the two girls had reached the raft 50 feet away. Ralph swam to Ellen just as she rose to the surface. Kicking and screaming, she grasped him and forced both beneath the surface. As they were submerged intermittently by her struggles, Ralph held Ellen and lifted her above water each time they surfaced. A lifeguard and his assistant, a young woman, arrived as Ellen then surfaced alone. She grasped the man, causing them to be submerged briefly. Meanwhile Ralph surfaced 10 feet behind them and then sank again. The lifeguards did not notice Ralph and took Ellen, whose struggles caused them to be submerged briefly several times, to wadable water. Ellen told them about Ralph and the lifeguards swam back to where he last had been seen. They located Ralph and brought him to the surface. He could not be revived.
46709 – 474746709-4747